by Natalie Haynes
AVAILABLE TO BUY 6th March 2014
In true Greek Tragedy style, Amber Fury is a story about Fate, Loss, Betrayal and Revenge.
“I wouldn’t have believed any of them could do something so monstrous.” p.5
Alex Morris is grieving from the lose of her Fiancé, Luke. In an attempt to escape the memories and heartache she moves from London to Edinburgh and takes on a job as a drama-therapist in a special unit for troubled and difficult kids. One group in particular are very hard to deal with but as Alex begins teaching them plays of Greek Tragedies she starts to gain their trust and discover a connection.
“I went there to try and make my life better. I thought I could make their lives better, and I believed doing that would help me recover something I’d lost when Luke died.” p.132
I was moved by how well Natalie Haynes managed to express Alex’s sense of loss. It was heartbreaking every time something happened that reminded her of how much she’d loved Luke and how she can never have him back. The pain was evident throughout and was portrayed as one of the things that triggered the inevitable tragedy.
“Even safety nets have holes in them, you know.” p. 9
From the very first pages you know that something bad is going to happen. Mainly because the story is written in a retrospective way. Where Alex is talking to a Lawyer explaining how she had no idea anything this terrible could have happened and also because there were so many little things that hinted towards the guilty party. And yet I still found myself hoping, willing the kids to not do anything stupid. I wanted them to change their fate because I, like Alex, saw how they were improving and they all had something likeable about them, even Anneka.
I think in the end it was Haynes’ eye for the tiny details that made Amber Fury so amazing. Those minute, almost insignificant observations that make everything seem factual and scarily plausible. Its a beautifully crafted début novel and I can’t wait to see what she will write next.
My review is also available in a shortened form on Waterstones under Raby254.