The Amber Fury by Natalie Haynes
Review by #BookShelfElf
This is such a promising first novel for this young writer. The overall subject is interesting and involving, the underlying theme of Greek tragedies intelligent and absorbing. I only feel it is a shame that we know that the twist at the end is coming and it becomes increasingly obvious what form it will take, from the hints in the text. A little more subterfuge may have made this an absolute best seller.
However, I would thoroughly recommend this novel. I was unsure the subject matter would be to my taste but it is beautifully written and well-paced, resulting in a page turner delivering pathos and anticipation – a really good psychological thriller.
Alex has had a difficult time with the death of her fiancée. A new job offer and a move to Edinburgh to escape the continuous depression takes her away from the theatre direction role that she loves. Even the challenges of the Pupil Referral Unit cannot completely distract from her dark mood and her choice of teaching material reflects this with her oldest and most troubled group of pupils. As she gains confidence in her drama therapy lessons she believes she is making a difference to these uneasy young people but it transpires that she may be educating them in life lessons that they may not be ready to learn.
The settings are well described and the atmospheres of London and Edinburgh well formed. The characters are rounded and interesting, a lengthier novel might have delved a little more deeply into their motivations and backgrounds but I think this would have spoiled the pace of the story. Nevertheless it is never bad to be left wanting more!
Bookshelf Elf says….3.5 bacon butties!
Authors Website: http://www.nataliehaynes.com/