Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Amy Snow - Tracy Rees

photo courtesy: goodreads.com
A interesting quest, although meanders a bit.

Apparently the book was the winner of "Search for a bestseller" by Richard and Judy. I admit the high profile nature of the book was a major draw.

The story is good and the writing even better. However, the story drags in places, so much that I put down and finished another book before resuming it and getting to the end.

That said, though boring in places, the last hundred pages really pick up pace and the threads neatly untangle themselves, rounding it off to a satisfactory read.


Amy was discovered as a baby, on a blanket of snow and that is how she gets her second name. She is rescued by a girl called Aurelia who becomes her shield and benefactor in the face of a victorian society and its conventions.

However, when Aurelia dies young, Amy is given a set of letters which embarks her on a journey. Not used to facing the world alone, the road takes on her own trip to self discovery and identity.

She is to follow a trail of letters and though it is demanding and at times inconvienient, Amy realises that she never really knew Aurelia despite being her close companion. At one point, she has to decide if the quest is really worth pursuing at the cost of her own happiness.

Is Aurelia really hiding something from her or is Amy going on a wild goose chase?

What works:

Atmospheric. Rees evokes the period well. The language, the customs and the mannerisms of the Victorian society are impressive. I just loved the description of the house and the way they lived in those times. Rees' story shows good research and builds up a good atmosphere for the story.

Character. Amy Snow is this girl who has grown up amid hatred yet vulnerable when facing the world. The journey is also an exercise in making her independent and self reliant, which is shown quite well. However, my favourite is Mrs Riverthorpe - a fiery unconventional lady with style.

Plot: The premise is really interesting. The story kicks off with some beautiful description and moves forward. Her interaction with characters and how they help her in her quest is also a good device.

What doesn't:
  • The same language that is so beautiful at the outset tends to bring down the story a bit. Her confusion seems to be dragged out a bit and gets boring.
But then the last 100 pages make up for the slack pace and the build up to the suspense is well done too. Over all, a well written read, an interesting debut, reminiscent of Kate Morton kind of stories.

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