The Shadow Knows

By Diane Johnson,

Book cover of The Shadow Knows

Book description

A series of violent happenings add to a young woman's conviction that she is going to be murdered

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Shadow Knows as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

A first-person novel published in 1974, this wry, low-key thriller, quietly shattering, slaloms through marriage and infidelity, prosperity and poverty, motherhood and neglect. I first came across The Shadow Knows shortly after it was published, turned the pages at speed, and in my head argued furiously with the protagonist all the way through. Re-reading it forty years later, I was still aghast, and just as mesmerized. I think it’s safe to say the narrator’s response to sexual violence—like much else in this book—would be impossible to publish in the present; it is as revelatory about our moment as about the…

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