I started doing ‘lazy Saturday reviews’ as a way of getting reviews done in just 30 mins, and they proved to be quite popular. They are quick and snappy, and concentrate less on the plot and writing and more on my general feelings about said book. They generally end up being a bit of a rant. My fave!
Title: The Amber Fury
Author: Natalie Haynes
Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Publication Details: November 6th 2014 by Corvus
Genre(s): General Fiction; Mystery
Disclosure? Nope, borrowed from Dora!
When you open up, who will you let in?
Alex Morris has lost everything: her relationship, her career and her faith in the future. Moving to Edinburgh to escape her demons, Alex takes a job teaching at a Pupil Referral Unit. It’s a place for kids whose behaviour is so extreme that they cannot be taught in a normal classroom. Alex is fragile with grief and way out of her depth.
Her fourth-year students are troubled and violent. In desperation to reach them, Alex turns to the stories she knows best. Greek tragedy isn’t the most obvious way to win over such damaged children, yet these tales of fate, family and vengeance speak directly to them.
Enthralled by the bloodthirsty justice of the ancient world, the teenagers begin to weave the threads of their own tragedy – one that Alex watches, helpless to prevent.
I really enjoyed this story of a theatre director who ends up teaching troubled teens in Edinburgh following a personal tragedy.
It’s one of those books that spoon feeds you most of the story but omits the most important piece of the puzzle to keep you guessing.
We know that Alex’s vulnerable state has weakened her judgement and as a result the children in her care have suffered. We discover that one of the teens in particular has done something terrible, and that Alex perhaps had the opportunity to stop that from happening but failed.
I enjoyed the writing and the setting; I could tell that the author had spent time in Edinburgh where it was set. The characters were well developed and interesting, and Alex was a great protagonist. Her vulnerability had the potential to get a bit woe-is-me, but her passion for the Greek Tragedies she taught and for helping the children stopped that from happening.
Overall, I thought The Amber Fury was a good, solid read, if not a teeny bit anti-climatic!