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amy-snow

Winner of the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition. 'A sparkling and compelling mystery. Amy Snow captured our hearts from the very first page' Richard and Judy. Abandoned on a bank of snow as a baby, Amy is taken in at nearby Hatville Court. But the masters and servants of the grand estate prove cold and unwelcoming. Amy's only friend and ally is the sparkWinner of the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition. 'A sparkling and compelling mystery. Amy Snow captured our hearts from the very first page' Richard and Judy. Abandoned on a bank of snow as a baby, Amy is taken in at nearby Hatville Court. But the masters and servants of the grand estate prove cold and unwelcoming. Amy's only friend and ally is the sparkling young heiress Aurelia Vennaway. So when Aurelia tragically dies young, Amy is devastated. But Aurelia leaves Amy one last gift. A bundle of letters with a coded key. A treasure hunt that only Amy can follow. A life-changing discovery awaits... if only she can unlock the secret....

Title : amy snow
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 25323932
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 551 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

amy snow Reviews

  • Jennifer
    2019-02-08 14:17

    "It makes me laugh that women are permitted so few alternatives, and are then punished for resorting to the ones they have."This is another one of those books that I've been sitting on for well over a year, and now that I've finally gotten around to reading it I could kick myself for not picking it up sooner.Part Jane Austen, part Charles Dickens, and part "Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life," this novel is about a baby (Amy Snow) abandoned on the estate of an aristocratic British family. While the estate's owner's are aghast that an orphan would sully their home, their daughter, Aurelia, insists on raising the child, and thus begins a life-long friendship.Rees writes lyrically and listening to the audio was a sheer pleasure. I was transported to the English countryside and moors of York as Amy Snow traversed the land on a "treasure hunt" of Aurelia's design to uncover her friend's deepest secrets. Thank you to NetGally and Simon & Schuster for a galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Deanna
    2019-02-18 08:08

    4+ starsWow did this one surprise me. It's a solidly good book. Engaging, suspenseful. I hoped for a decent light read with minimal fluff. With a hope like that I can also dread being aggravated to the point of abandonment by melodrama, predictability, or general silliness, and that staccato hammering on all the feels, for which I can generally feel nothing better than disappointed. Turns out this historical romance is at least as solid on the historical interest and story suspense, and light on romantic manipulation, as was the late Georgette Heyer. It reminds me more of the better Heyer novels, and even of the romantic classicists like the Brontes and Austen, than of the contemporary historical romances. Oh, it had all the makings of a standard historical romantic melodrama. It actually should have been eye-rolling. Not sure, actually, how it avoided that fate. It took me quite a while to stop cringing in dread for what the story was about to become. But the book persistently rose above what it might have been, to actually be a satisfying read. This one was a light delight that didn't feel lightweight. I look forward to the next one from this author.

  • Holly
    2019-02-08 11:07

    *4.5 starsThis was such an entertaining novel. I loved both Aurelia and Amy. Even though, they weren't sisters by blood, they were sisters of the heart and it warmed my heart to see Aurelia do everything that she could to save Amy. Aurelia's parents were awful! I just wanted to punch Aurelia's mother!! They were so mean to Amy. I was so happy when Amy set upon her treasure hunt that was set-up by Aurelia. Through this treasure hunt we were able to get to know Aurelia better through letters that she left behind for Amy. It was refreshing to watch Amy mature through this time as well. She was such a nice girl and after what she had been through, I was hoping for wonderful things to happen to her. We also got to meet some interesting characters through this adventure. My favorite: Mrs. Riverthorpe. Now she was quite the character!!The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars was because of the mystery surrounding Aurelia. I figured it out quite soon, as did Amy. I was hoping at the end it wouldn't be that but something else. So that was a little disappointing. I was happy that there were some questions answered through the epilogue. Otherwise, that would have disappointed me as well. This was a very well-written novel (can't believe it was a debut!), and I loved the characters. I'm so happy that I was able to read this one:)**Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Agi
    2019-01-28 11:20

    I absolutely adore historical fiction, I love to imagine the rustling dresses, the wonderful clothes, corsets and curtseying and am always fascinated with the lives people led so many years ago. The premise to "Amy Snow" promised not only this, but much, much more, and let me tell you: this is a debut novel by Tracy Rees, but I would never in million years guess it, as this book is so complete, so brilliant, so thought through. It has wonderful characters, strong heroine, mystery, drama, and this humour that I always identify with those times. It is also the winner of Richard and Judy's Search for a Bestseller competition, which is not a surprise for me, as this book has it all!It's January 1831. The book follows the story of Amy Snow, starting when young Aurelia finds Amy as a new - born baby, being left to death in the snow - hence her name, Snow. As Aurelia is the only Vennaway family's daughter, and she's very hard - minded, Amy is allowed to stay - in the kitchen, help to everyone. For Aurelia she stays her best friend, and the girls share a lot of secrets, spent a lot of time together, even if Aurelia's parents neither want to hear about Amy nor see her.Aurelia dies young because of a heart defect and Amy is of course thrown out of the house right after the funeral. Officially Aurelia has left her only 10 pounds in her will, but Amy soon learns that there is much more - namely, a "treasure hunt", that the girls so liked to play with each other - Aurelia leaves Amy a trail of secret letters, that Amy must find first, and all the letters direct her to different places, different people, and eventually, to Aurelia's secret. Who is Amy going to meet on her adventure? Is she able to find on her own what Aurelia left her?Amy is one of the most incredible characters I have come across in the books that I'd read. No matter the circumstances, she has had her head held high. A clever cookie, she didn't let other people intimidate her. There were moments I had tears in my eyes at the way people - especially Aurelia's parents - treated her - but Amy being Amy, just shook off and kept going. And she develops in the book, oh my, how much she develops, and she knows how much she's worth. You rule, girl! You made me really proud at the way you coped with everything in your life.The journey that Tracy takes us on with her characters is one full of surprises, twists and turns, and well, to be honest, Amy must have been one hell of a brave girl to pluck up the courage and head out on this trip all by herself. I guess I would be fretting and wondering, and she has just taken her things and went. Of course, she has nothing to lose, but in those time, travelling alone must have been a real challenge for a young girl.Thanks to the letters that she left Amy, we also get to know the real Aurelia, Aurelia that so much valued Amy, that so much took care of her, preparing everything for her and making sure that she will have everything after her death. Thanks to Amy's memories of her, and also the letters, there emerges a picture a young woman, who was probably too clever for the times that she lived in, woman who wanted to see and discover, and not follow the steps of her own mother, cousins, friends in doing this what was thought as the right thing to do: settling down with a husband and several children. It was obvious that Aurelia had something to hide, and she has hinted it in her letters as well. there was a moment that I thought I guesses what this secret is, in fact it was the same moment that Amy started to guess, but still, I wasn't at all sure if I'm right or wrong.The characters are so colourful and all so different! There is a great number of them - first we meet the Vennaway family and people working for them, and they are a fantastic, friendly bunch of persons, as Cook says, they must be, because not many would work for this family. Then we always meet someone new together with Amy, when she starts her journey, and every single person adds a lot to the story, and my heart just grew a little bigger each time she met someone so friendly and willing to help her.I absolutely adored the banter between the characters, they lived in times where appearances were everything, and so it is always a great joy to see how they manage their conversations while trying not to hurt each other or to hide their real feelings, but also managing to slip here or there their true opinions, but they do this in such an elegant, clever way - any Tracy has brilliantly grasped nature and atmosphere of this Victorian England, not only in the dialogues, but in descriptions and characters as well.This is a long book. There are over 550 pages but believe me when I tell you that all the pages are filled to brims with fantastic, hooking, compelling story. Yes, there were moments, especially in the second half of the book, when the narration felt a little too long and some of the scenes felt insignificant to me, I would do without them, but oh my, other than that I can't say one negative word about it. And I don't want! This book was a pure escapism, and I immensely enjoyed how Amy slowly found her place in this world, how much she developed, how she learnt so much about herself, started to know her boundaries and what she's able to do to fulfil Aurelia's last wish.Everything in this story is neatly tied up. There was a moment that I feared so much that this one important thread about Amy won't be explained, but I needn't, of course, Tracy wouldn't leave us dangling like this! It's a very complex story, so thought through, and my hats go off to Tracy and her talent to plot and hatch in this way! Yes, I am jealous, as I was never any good in treasure hunts, sadly, but Amy here made me so proud!This is this kind of a debut that make you gasp, do a double take and think: What? Debut novel? You must be joking! But yes, it is a debut novel, although yours truly can't believe it as well. Tracy's wonderful descriptions of the places and her talent to bring the characters to life make this book such an outstanding read! "Amy Snow" is written in a beautiful way, and it's both funny and heart - wrenching. I really didn't want to leave Amy and her life.A brilliant, compelling story that takes us on a journey through early Victorian England and gives us a bunch of strong female characters, some male characters that look so weak in comparison to our girls, but also some that are really worth to make acquaintance with, and of course give us a look at the society, with all its stereotypes, as well as intriguing mystery. I am over the moon to have discovered Tracy Rees and can't wait to see what she has in store for us in the next time.Copy received from publisher in exchange for a review.

  • Toni
    2019-01-28 09:06

    I don't like writing negative reviews, but sometimes-as in this case-it's necessary. If I save just one person from wasting their time on this book then it's all been worth it ;). Truthfully this is a 1 but I gave it a 2 simply because I've read worse. This really should have been a DNF but I have an affliction-I'm an unadulterated optimist. I keep hoping a book will turn itself around. Amy Snow did not. Two words of description: TRITE and terribly BORING. When a book centers around a mystery, the reader shouldn't be able to guess it out of the gate. I guessed it straight off the bat. If you think it's just me, and another reader might not guess the answer, think again. Even Amy Snow herself guesses the secret halfway through the book! Seriously! So the big reveal is majorly anticlimactic, and as Amy says, it's merely confirmation of what she had surmised in the first place. It's also a trite (Victorian age) romance. Painfully sappy. Amy Snow and her beau (the very first man she meets!) are madly in love in the way a 5th grader might write about love. She also thinks she may be in love with the second man she meets, but of course he turns about to be a scoundrel therefore making it easy for her to choose man #1. The characters are cloyingly one dimensional. The cold hard aristocratic parents, the orphan with no confidence or means, the perfectly beautiful yet unconventional aristocratic daughter (to create conflict with said cold parents), the Adonis of an aristocratic who courts her (secretly debauched and merely after her fortune), the handsome good hearted bourgeois love interest, the elderly aristocratic woman who's barbed and cruel... with a soft heart of course. It was just too much! To top it off, Amy seems pretty darn ungrateful towards her best friend (who saved her life as a baby). Once the friend dies and Amy is out on her own, she's ticked off that the friend has left her with her dearest secret to uncover when Amy would rather be off living her own life (with the fortune bequeathed to her by her friend (!) as otherwise she'd be completely destitute with no options or means of any kind). Amy Snow is equally unbearable as the overly needy girlfriend who reproaches herself repeatedly (and whines!) after her fiancé breaks off with her the first time he doesn't get his way (her thinking is that after all she knew he was stubborn and it was her fault because she never should have gone against his wishes). I wish I didn't waste time on this book and it is beyond me how it got these good reviews. I am definitely the wrong audience. I love historical fiction and I love a good love story. A mystery added in the mix is also compelling in a book. Amy Snow is none of the above. No compelling characters, no compelling story, no real plot, definitely no climax and NO mystery. I'm not sure what Amy Snow actually is supposed to be. Perhaps a book for a 7th grade girl? Yes, that may be he audience. It certainly wasn't for me. No disrespect to those who loved this book. We all have our own tastes and Amy Snow was not to mine.

  • Shannon
    2019-02-10 09:14

    I have to concur completely with a previous reviewer who said they had no idea why this book was getting such good ratings. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad book; it's just not a good one. It's like toast without butter: dry without any flavor.I didn't think Amy Snow was a compelling heroine in any way. She didn't interest me. She whined, she was boring, she simpered and fell in love (for no reason that I could fathom) with two different men. I was bored with her and done with her halfway through the book, but I pressed forward. She was a loyal and caring person, qualities that are endearing (if overused) in a historical novel. I thought the late Aurelia was so much more alive-- even in death-- than Amy could ever hope to be. Aurelia was perhaps a bit cliched, but engaging and fascinating, nonetheless. Although she was completely anachronistic. In fact, most of the book seemed full of anachronisms.The attitudes displayed in the book regarding sexual relationships and liaisons outside of marriage seemed too modern and lax for Victorian society. It seemed half of the characters were engaging in sexual relationships outside of marriage; and even if perhaps this did happen back then, it certainly wasn't discussed as freely or with such acceptance as was displayed in the book. It was disappointing that the author seemed to be inserting modern attitudes in a historical setting. Perhaps I tend to nitpick, but this was a major negative for me. I thought the relationships were unbelievable. Amy supposedly fell in love with a man at first sight, and he her, but I saw no evidence of this whatsoever. I honestly saw nothing engaging about him, and their relationship was rushed and trite. I just couldn't bring myself to care about their relationship. In fact, I found myself dreading it whenever he would reappear. Usually, the love story is my favorite part, but this one made me groan. Oh, and they kept calling each other, "my love" every other sentence, which made me gag. I found Mrs. Riverthorpe to be a fun (if unbelievable) character, but other than that, the characters were lackluster, one-dimensional, and unconvincing. The book was packed with anachronisms, a silly and unsurprising plot, a mystery that was no mystery at all, and an odd ending that fell flat. So...not a win in my opinion. Good premise, disappointing execution.

  • Pamela
    2019-01-24 10:21

    The prose for me was so lyrical, that I was completely immersed into Amy and Aurelia's story. I loved how Aurelia helped Amy become her own woman through the treasure hunt. After the way Aurelia's mother (and father eventually) treated Amy throughout her life, it was so nice to see Amy get the chance to show what a lady she really was and to finally have a happy ending.This was a wonderful historical book that has love and romance (but no sex!), great characters, and settings. The way Amy had to discover the secret was well-thought out, even though the "secret" is nothing notable (for modern times). I thought this was a very poignant story and look forward to more by Ms. Rees.**Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.**

  • Lisa Hall
    2019-02-20 14:06

    I was looking forward to reading this, after judging it by it's very beautiful cover and I wasn't disappointed. A sweeping historical tale of love and friendship, I loved the relationship between Aurelia and Amy, even though it felt a little one-sided in places (and reasons for that became clear eventually!). The story handles the relationship not only between Amy and Aurelia, but also between Amy and the other people she comes across when Aurelia has passed on, and it was interesting to read how the difference between classes could mean the difference between acceptance in society, and quite frankly shocking treatment by others in society. A blogger friend, (Vicki - you can find her here: http://off-the-shelfbooks.blogspot.co.uk) said to me before I started reading that she could completely imagine this novel as a historical drama for television and I have to agree - it would make a fabulous drama! Although Aurelia's secret is not one that is difficult to figure out, the way Amy is led on a treasure hunt to uncover the secret is very well-thought out and makes for a far more interesting read.

  • CL
    2019-02-01 12:20

    I only like to read historical fiction when it involves a mystery. "Amy Snow" promised the mystery of how the newborn baby who becomes known as Amy Snow comes to reside in the home of the Vennaways and becomes a companion to their only daughter, Aurelia. After Aurelia dies at a young age of a heart defect she sends Amy on a “treasure hunt” based on letters Aurelia has left for her that will lead her to a series of different locations and will bring her in contact with different characters that will reveal Aurelia’s secret. This is the story of overcoming obstacles and becoming the person you are meant to be against all odds especially set in an era when women were not taken seriously and they had to behave in a certain way for society based on their backgrounds. Amy is basically an orphan and looked down upon by most except for Aurelia who gives her, her first sense of self and the other members of the household staff. Great read. I would like to thank the Publisher and Net Galley for the chance to read this ARC.

  • Karen Mace
    2019-01-29 11:15

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book! Another engaging, emotional story from this author who is fast becoming one of my favourites with her quality of writing and storylines!The story of Amy and her quest to find her place in the world was a fascinating one. From the moment she was born and found in the snow by Aurelia, she never really fitted in with others, but Aurelia was always there for her and vice versa. After the sad passing of Aurelia, it was obvious her family weren't going to endure her being around, and I loved how Aurelia had set up a 'treasure hunt' so to speak, to share her story and legacy after she was gone, and to pass on to Amy all that she knew and all that she had kept hidden from Amy despite their strong bond.There was plenty of mystery and intrigue throughout, which mixed well with Amy and her experiences of travelling around the country on her own as a woman, and finding people who knew Aurelia and didn't judge Amy because of her past and accepted her for who she was.Despite it being a big 'chunkster' of a book, the story flew by and I suffered from the 'ooh just one more chapter' disease that strikes when a story has me under its' spell! Highly recommended!!

  • Marla
    2019-02-18 14:08

    What a fantastic book! I really enjoyed spending time with Amy Snow and learning about her life with Aurelia. The scavenger hunt that Amy was put on to find out what the secret could be and why she was being sent to the different places was interesting. I really liked the character of Henry and how much he and Amy got along. Her time in Bath was pretty funny. Tracy Rees does a great job of telling a story that captivates the reader and draws them into the story and into the characters' lives so that you care for them and hope they have happy lives.

  • Pamela
    2019-02-01 07:18

    Aboveboard, very much a good read! Historically rich and surprisingly enrapturing. Far more so than I at first presumed. Review to come . . .

  • Jennifer
    2019-01-24 09:17

    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I really enjoyed Amy Snow. Set in the 1800's, it is the story of 2 girls and told between past and present. Both through Amy and letters from Aurelia. The premise of the story reminded me of the styling of Kate Morton. Historical fiction, past and present, a family secret and the dead leading the living through letters. Although there aren't any big surprises, about 1/2 through Aurelia's "secret" becomes evident, but the story is so well told that you just don't want to put this book down. Throughout the book it is mentioned that no one knows where Amy came from, although the 2 girls do plenty of speculating. I was hoping for a little bit more of twist upon learning Amy's origins, but not so. All in all, I read this book very quickly and when I wasn't reading, I couldn't wait to get back to it. The only downside for me was I felt that the same story could have been told in about 100 pages less.

  • Donna
    2019-02-10 14:10

    3.5 stars. This is my first novel by this author and I will read more. I rounded up to 4 because of the overall enjoyment factor. I liked the tone of this historical fiction story. It started off great with a baby being found in the snow and brought home to be raised as a servant girl. This girl was Amy Snow. I liked Amy and I enjoyed her journey. I absolutely loved, loved Mrs. Riverhurst. She was hilarious. There were a lot of characters in this which usually is a negative for me, but the nature of the story seemed to dictate their necessity. So this wasn't bothersome because I knew they were temporary and accepted that early on.I liked the writing. There was a great description of place (19th century England) and it was supported by the dialogue. Even though this was very predictable and a little too pretty, (especially the ending), I still liked this a lot. It was a quiet little read for the first snowfall of this coming winter.

  • Renita D'Silva
    2019-02-04 07:19

    Loved this wonderful tale. Liked Amy, adored Aurelia but best of all I LOVED Mrs. Riverthorpe.

  • Tracy
    2019-01-30 12:56

    For a debut novel I think this book was fantastic! At times there was a bit much blah-blah, but the mystery kept you turning pages. It's a unique story and I really enjoyed all the characters. I enjoyed the setting of 1830s England very much. I liked how it ended and my faith in Henry was restored! I haven't been able to find this author's other books on the Kindle but would like to read them...

  • Elena T.
    2019-02-18 10:13

    "Ti imploro di seguire le mie tracce”.Hatville Court, Hertfordshire, 1848. Aurelia Vennaway, figlia unica di Lord Charles e Lady Celestina Vennaway, muore lasciando sola l’amica Amy Snow. Quest’ultima non è beneamata da quella che è la famiglia più in vista della contea, e non esitano a cacciarla dalla magione adesso che l’adorata figlia è morta. La mantella stretta per difendersi dal gelo, Amy si allontana da Hatville Court, la casa in cui ha vissuto per ben diciassette anni, con il cuore sofferente: niente la lega più a quel luogo. Era proprio Aurelia che, diciassette anni prima, l’aveva trovata - minuscola neonata nella neve - accogliendola come fosse una sorella, nel pieno disappunto della famiglia.Ma Aurelia ha pensato a tutto, sapeva di non potersene andare così; non prima di aver detto la verità ad Amy. Attraverso una serie di lettere sparse per tutto il paese, Londra, Bath e poi ancora York, la giovane scoprirà finalmente i segreti dell’amica.“Mia preziosissima Amy, nonostante fossimo e siamo molto vicine, ci sono segreti che ti ho celato. Ti ricordi, mia diletta, quand’eri piccola e ti divertivo inventando per te delle caccie al tesoro? Sei al principio della mia ultima caccia al tesoro per te”..Tracy Rees tesse discretamente le fila di questo romanzo storico, dipingendo i contorni delle verdeggianti pianure dell’ Hertfordshire, seppur qui trasposte in chiave quasi prevalentemente invernale.Come una nuova Jane Eyre, Amy Snow prende in mano la propria vita dopo la sofferenza, seguendo il cuore e le proprie convinzioni, senza lasciarsi sviare da quelle che saranno le persone che, sul suo cammino, cercheranno di intralciarla. Come Jane, e sempre con il rigore che accompagna le giovani donne di metà Ottocento, riuscirà a raggiungere infine l’agognata serenità?Se Amy Snow strizza, seppur molto vagamente e solo nelle prime pagine, l’occhio all’eroina di Charlotte Bronte (nella seconda metà del libro diventa un po’ odiosa) – il fil rouge del plot stesso ricorda un po’ “L’eredità” di Louisa May Alcott, dove un’inconsapevole Edith Adelon, cresciuta in una famiglia benestante, va avanti attraverso delle lettere misteriose (seppur di contenuto assai diverso).Un romanzo certo gradevole, sotto plurimi aspetti – ma che ho trovato forzato soprattutto nell’incipit (l’atteggiamento dei coniugi Vennaway nei confronti di Amy, con tanto di sputacchi in faccia e similari, l’ho trovato a dir poco sopra le righe, tenuto conto poi della banalità del motivo che viene svelato nell’epilogo) e nell’uso di alcuni termini e metodologie di conversazione a mio avviso troppo moderne e spontanee (le lettere che Aurelia ha lasciato ad Amy ad esempio, ma per sincerarmi di questo dovrei leggere la versione inglese per riscontrare eventuali sofismi della traduzione italiana).Rimane in fin dei conti un romanzo nell’insieme piacevole, ma dal quale mi aspettavo molto, ma molto, di più.

  • Lady Delacour
    2019-01-24 15:19

    Had such high hopes for this mysterybut, was left very disappointed.Way too many clothing descriptionsthat went on and on and on.......Took away from the plot and left me board.Story and narrator Melody Grovewere both just so so.Clean Story.

  • Laura
    2019-02-05 11:16

    Finally finished this Audible book. Amy Snow is found as a baby in the snow by 8 yo Aurelia Vannaway. Amy grows up in the Vannaway home treated horribly by the parents and as a pet by Aurelia. When Aurelia dies of a heart condition, she leaves clues for Amy to follow to solve a great mystery. It was ok. I thought it would never get to the mystery. Sometimes it seemed pointless. All in all, I give it 2 1/2 stars

  • Elise Hooper
    2019-01-27 08:12

    This one came to me through the recommendation of one of my favorite local booksellers, Island Books (WA), and it did not disappoint!

  • Kathryn
    2019-02-12 13:07

    4.5 starsAmy Snow by Tracy Rees is a debut novel that enthralled me from start to finish. It is set in England in early Victorian times, and while in one sense it merely covers a matter of months, it also goes back in time, so that we the reader are slowly fed all the details. This allows the mystery of the story to unfurl.Aurelia Vennaway when she is a young girl of eight, discovers a baby blue with cold in the snow, yet still alive. And so begins the life of Amy Snow. Where she came from, who she is nobody seems to know - or at any rate are not prepared to reveal. Apart from the prologue and epiplogue the story is recounted by Amy. She grew up in the Vennaway home, cared for by the cook and young gardener, despised by Lady Vennaway and forbidden to be seen anywhere by the family. Amy's life is cold and lonely. However Aurelia befriends her and as they both grow they bond and grow in friendship and love. When Aurelia dies Amy is cast out, a young woman of about seventeen years thrust out into a world she is unprepared for.Yet Amy is not totally abandoned, even in death Aurelia reaches out to Amy through letters that are to guide her along a journey of self discovery and the revelation of secrets that surprise. The letters are not straight forward, some of them are like a cryptic crossword that Amy must break the code of so that she can take the next step in the quest. At times this aggravates her, she almost gives up annoyed with Aurelia, yet she perseveres to the end.Along the way she meets all kinds of characters, mostly kind and compassionate and a few not so much. All are colourful and add vitality and interesting detail to the story. As Amy meets each one, her heart is warmed with what has been so lacking in her life so far, she is also challenged by some of those she meets and learns to stand on her own two feet and speak her mind. All the while she struggles with who she is, who controls her and what are her own choices along the way. I really enjoyed this book, I liked Amy and felt for her in so many ways. I was delighted with her spirit of loyalty and willingness to go on an adventure that she did not know where it would finally end and how. I loved how the book underlined certain values that the main characters were insistent about and that they based their choices on.Tracy Rees has written a well crafted and intriguing mystery, with characters that will long endure in my memory. A big thumbs up for her first published book - I certainly hope she has another as equally readable in the wings.

  • Wendy
    2019-02-12 11:21

    A beautifully written tale of friendship, heartbreak and surviving whatever life may throw at you. In January 1831, a baby came into the lives of the Vennaway family of Hatville Court, but not in the traditional manner it would appear. The new born was not a bundle of joy and happiness, it was abandoned on the crisp, white snow of the grounds.Amy had arrived, and her journey had begun. Her tiny form was discovered by the youngest member of the Vennaway household. If it wasn’t for a feisty, impetuous girl by the name of Aurelia, the babe may never have survived.You would think that a decent enough life would be waiting for a baby who had already survived the odds, yet Hatfield Court offered nothing but a miserable existence for Amy. For all their fancy airs and graces, the cruel and vindictive ways of the Vennaways left a lot to be desired. Only Aurelia truly fought the little girl’s corner; Amy was the sister she never had.Seventeen years later, Aurelia tragically left the world and Amy to be sent speedily on her own way. Before she left the grounds she was secretly handed a mysterious letter that was written by the recently deceased.This was the first ‘clue’ which would lead her on a solitary journey. More letters follow and send her on a secret and patient chase for the next clue. An unchaperoned Amy travels from place to place and is introduced to a society she never knew existed. As time passes, she considers if there is any place where she will truly belong. Will Amy reach the final destination that Aurelia has mapped out for her, or will she abandon the quest?Whilst the overall ending is not totally unexpected, it reaches satisfying conclusion. This story is a delight to read and is one which moves at a gentle trot, not a gallop, allowing you to bathe in the atmosphere the writer has successfully conjured up.Actual rating: 4.5 / 5 My sincere thanks to the publisher for kindly sending a copy of this paperback for review.)

  • Leah
    2019-01-30 14:56

    Amy Snow is that rare kind of novel that sneaks up on you completely unannounced and turns your world upside-down. The characters, the relationships (of all sorts), and settings were painstakingly created and instantly had me hooked. I immersed myself in Amy's world, sharing her joys and disappointments along the way. I'm floored that this is a debut, but you better believe I'll be reading whatever Rees does next (and I'm selfishly hoping the way won't be too long!) I'm finding it difficult to put my thoughts down, so I'll leave it at this: Amy Snow is an excellent, beautiful, sweeping novel that had me turning the pages and inhaling every sentence and when I reached the final page, I was heartbroken to say goodbye to the characters I had come to know. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this book.For the full review and more, head over to The Pretty good Gatsby!

  • Mary Ronan Drew
    2019-01-30 11:07

    When her only friend dies, Amy Snow finds herself, at 17, evicted from the only home she has ever known. alone and forced to play a treasure hunt game her friend has used to make it impossible for anyone but Amy to learn her secrets. As she moves from rural Dorset to London and experiences the social life of Twickenham and Bath, our eponymous heroine learns much about herself and others. The author makes no serious attempt to use 1840s language or manners (the characters call one another by their first names on meeting, a woman takes her bonnet off in public) and the story has 21st century sensibilities (better to be living in a loving shopkeeper's family than in a cold but wealthy and aristocratic house.) But a fine plot and a couple of really excellent characters.

  • Deborah Swift
    2019-02-02 15:16

    Enjoyable undemanding read. The characters are appealing and the plot gallops along until the last third of the book which didn't quite live up to the rest - the denouement where we find Amy's history felt a little laboured. I also felt that the Victorian setting could have been exploited more. Nevertheless, this is a well-written book, definitely worth your time and money, and I would look for more from this author in the future.

  • Julie
    2019-02-07 07:52

    I loved this Victorian story! It reminded me a little of a Kate Morton book, without the multi-generational plots. It actually starts off feeling a little like Jane Eyre on a treasure hunt, which felt a little ludicrous initially, but in the end it totally worked for me. The ending was predictable, but it was so fun to read, so I can forgive the author for that. Hope she writes more!

  • Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess
    2019-01-28 14:04

    5 Words:I received a copy of this for free via NetGalley for review purposes.

  • Shiloah
    2019-02-03 11:19

    An enjoyable mysterious, lighter read. Thank you, LaRae for the suggestion!

  • Jess
    2019-01-29 15:04

    A charming mix of Dickens meets a suffragette. However, that suffragette is not Amy Snow. Rather that distinction belongs to her dead patron and champion, Aurelia Vennaway. Rescued from the snow as an infant by an eight year old Aurelia. Amy (aptly named) Snow is raised in Aurelia's household initially as servant and eventual companion much to the dismay of Aurelia's mother and father. Aurelia's intelligence, manipulations, and eventual decline in health allow her to keep Amy on as a companion though she becomes the younger sister Aurelia never had. Amy treasures the safety she has in Aurelia and only hopes to one day marry, have a small cottage, and the love of a family. Aurelia however wishes she would dream bigger. Aurelia sees the class distinction, poverty of the lower classes, and lack of choices for women to be abhorrent and wants to be a part of that change. Fate however marks her as not long for this world. On her death, Amy is bequeathed a meager sum of money and sent out of the Vennaway mansion.Her grief is raw. When she is given a letter from Aurelia, she clings to the posthumous words and is determined to follow the clues to Aurelia's "treasure". Vague references and revelations about the last year of Aurelia's life spur Amy's determination to honor the last wishes of her dear sister. She finds two potential lovers, an adopted family who loves her, an elderly curmudgeon who champions her cause, and eventually Aurelia's treasure. Amy evolves as the story evolves. Shedding her meekness, fears, and ultimately her identity. A lovely story!I found this to be a delicious read and was dismayed to learn I can not pick out a cad in Bath. Fortunately, I have a lack of a fortune so I wouldn't have even been in his sights. The descriptions of London, the British countryside, and life in the 1830s were fascinating and you cannot help but be entranced. A true rags to riches story that rivals a Dickens novel. Well done.I want to thank Netgalley and Simon and Schuster for graciously allowing me to read this novel in exchange for my honest review.

  • Faouzia
    2019-01-25 08:22

    I would like to thank NetGalley, the Publisher and author for this book.It is definitely one of the most captivating books i read this year, so far.The story starts when 8 years old Aurelia Vennaway, the daughter is one of the richest families, find a little baby abandoned in the snow, half dead. She insist on keeping her and baptize her Amy Snow.Against everything, a deep friendship springs between these two girls, and the bond strengthen as Aurelia gets sicks and knows she only has counted years to live.When Aurelia dies, the legacy she leaves for Amy is quite original: a treasure hunt, that takes her across the country during the golden Victorian period, from one clue to another, in a whirl of new connections, friends, balls, dressed..., until it reaches the big secret of Aurelia's life.I really enjoyed this story, of this strange friendship and loyalty, of Amy Snow, and how by following the threads to her friend's secret, she ended up understanding herself and all the possibilities that life can give. Amy Snow was, obviously, the captivating character of this story, but all the others that she met along the way were very fascinating, different and interesting, my favorite one was the eccentric Mrs Riverthorpe, how she made me laugh so many times!At the beginning of the book, there was a note from the editor, saying that when she started it she couldn't stop reading, that she had eyes only for Amy Snow, and i felt the same, i found it hard to put Amy Snow aside. I would recommend this book to my friends.