Title: Amy Snow
Author: Tracy Rees
Genre: Classic Fiction
Source: Kindle Recommendation
My favourite quote; ‘The treasure hunt, I reflect, is a mixed blessing. Without it dragging me on, grief might well have swallowed me whole by now. But at some point, I know, I will need to let go of Aurelia and forge a life of my own construction. This is not my journey; it has been laid out for me by someone else. I am like a seamstress cutting out a dress to a pattern she did not design, uncertain of how the finished garment will suit her when she is done or whether it will even fit. I am still not free.’
I originally purchased this book as recommended on the kindle. For some reason, I just couldn’t read it. Every time I picked up the story again, I gave it a few pages and then stopped. It wasn’t that I wasn’t enjoying the story, as I thought it was great, I just couldn’t get lost in it straight away like I expected.
I saw the same book in a charity shop and I thought I’d try reading it this way instead of the kindle. Man, it made a bizarre difference. I started the book for the beginning and this time, I could not put it down! I’m beginning to look at my kindle differently.. sometimes you just need a physical book.
Amy Snow was found in the snow by a 7 year old heiress of Hatville Court, Aurelia Vennaway. Amy was not welcomed by the rest of the family, but once she made a decision, her parents were unable to sway Aurelia out of anything. Amy was brought up in her shadow as her companion but lived with the servants for many years to be of use to the family.
Aurelia was beautiful, kind, carefree and extremely happy having Amy with her at Hatville Court, until one day she was found unconscious in the garden. They discovered Aurelia had problems with her heart and would not survive the next few years to come. She insisted on travelling to enjoy what was left of her life, little did anyone know, she had another reason altogether for taking her trip alone.
When Aurelia died, Amy, now of age, was no longer welcome and Hatville Court and left the property with the very few possessions she could, including a letter and money from Aurelia. Thus beginning the ‘treasure hunt’. Aurelia instructs Amy to go to London to find her next letter with a clue only she would know the answer, which will provide her with more secrets to unravel. Amy is determined to find every letter Aurelia left from her travels to find out the truth to her mysterious journey before she died.
The characters she meets on her journey are all absolutely lovely. Each one holds a special place in Amy’s heart for the impact they have made on her new life. The first friend she makes is Mr Albert Crumm and his son, Henry. For the first time since Aurelia passed, she felt comfortable and happy in the company of another, and you can’t help but feel happy for her, even if it is for a brief few pages. She discovers her second letter and is off to Twickenham the next day.
The next part of her journey, she is instructed to stay with the Wisters. They are so lovely and kindhearted that you can’t help but wish to be a part of their family too. They fight for Amy’s happiness like they have known her their entire life and only want her to make herself at home. Amy feels safe and protected and for the first time, discovers what it’s like to have a family.
My favourite character above all others is definitely Mrs Riverthorpe. You can’t help but laugh out loud for her diverse comments, she doesn’t care what others think of her. She’s rich and happy and not afraid to be who she wants to be, which, for the late 1800’s is very unusual for any woman to express her mind.
”The pictures of the gentlemen?’ I glance up at the portraits covering the far wall, all lit up with pale, dusty sunshine.
‘Precisely so, child. The same reason. Always keep the enemy in sight’
‘I understand. Be wary of men, for they can destroy your happiness.’
‘Ha! Very good. Indeed, indeed.’
I take up my glass of Madeira. ‘Are the portraits of any particular men, Mrs Riverthorpe, or merely a selection to display the variety of the species?’
‘They are my former husbands and lovers.’
I spill the Madeira a little in shock. ‘What, all of them?’
‘Don’t be silly, child, I should run out of space on the walls if I were to display all of them.’
I think the reason I loved this story so much is because it reminded me of Jane Eyre. A orphaned child, one single friend who died at a young age, left ‘home’ to journey the real world on their own with secrets and challenges along the way, found friendship and love but walked away, Jane for self-preservation and Amy for obligation, but in the end found happiness when they thought it was lost forever.
I’m already craving to read the story again and have already purchased more of Tracy Rees’s books! I would definitely recommend it to others and have already added it to my favourites!
Left to perish on a bank of snow as a baby, Amy has never known love, never known family.
Reluctantly given shelter at nearby Hatville Court, she is despised by the masters and servants alike.
The beautiful Hatville heiress, Aurelia Vennaway, is Amy’s only advocate – she becomes the light of Amy’s life, and the centre of her existence.
So when Aurelia dies young, Amy’s world collapses. But Aurelia leaves Amy with one last gift.
A bundle of letters with a coded key. A treasure hunt that only Amy can unlock.
A life-changing secret awaits… if only she can reach it.