Article published on August 7, 2015.
Found abandoned in the snow as a baby, Amy is taken in by young heiress Aurelia Vennaway, who champions her foster sister in the hostile environment of their home, Hatville Court. When Aurelia dies young, she leaves Amy enough money for independence but also a quest: a bundle of letters containing a series of clues for her to unravel.
This treasure hunt has Amy zigzagging across the country and, as she does, she comes of age, expanding her limited horizons and finding new friends. It’s a Cinderella story, so along the way she also meets a prince or two.
The story is written mainly from Amy’s perspective and we solve the puzzle as Amy herself does, though I suspect most readers are a few steps ahead of her. It’s not that difficult to guess the nature of Aurelia’s secret.
Tracy Rees has clearly done her research. Without laying it on with a trowel or sinking into pastiche, she captures Victorian England very well as we accompany Amy on her travels: from Dickensian London to historic York, via Twickenham and Bath, where her enjoyable commentary on the social comings and goings is a nod to Jane Austen.
There’s not a huge amount for reading groups to debate, but if you’re browsing the shelves of WH Smiths at the airport for something light but engaging to read on the beach, Amy Snow is a safe choice. The inaugural winner of the Richard & Judy Search for a Bestseller competition, this entertaining historical mystery is a better class of holiday read.
Personal read: ***
Group read: **
Amy Snow by Tracy Rees
Pub. Date: 9th April, 2015
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