Author: Tracy Rees
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: June 7, 2016 (Today!)
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "It is 1831 when eight-year-old Aurelia Vennaway finds a naked baby girl abandoned in the snow on the grounds of her aristocratic family’s magnificent mansion. Her parents are horrified that she has brought a bastard foundling into the house, but Aurelia convinces them to keep the baby, whom she names Amy Snow. Amy is brought up as a second-class citizen, despised by Vennaways, but she and Aurelia are as close as sisters. When Aurelia dies at the age of twenty-three, she leaves Amy ten pounds, and the Vennaways immediately banish Amy from their home.
But Aurelia left her much more. Amy soon receives a packet that contains a rich inheritance and a letter from Aurelia revealing she had kept secrets from Amy, secrets that she wants Amy to know. From the grave she sends Amy on a treasure hunt from one end of England to the other: a treasure hunt that only Amy can follow. Ultimately, a life-changing discovery awaits...if only Amy can unlock the secret. In the end, Amy escapes the Vennaways, finds true love, and learns her dearest friend’s secret, a secret that she will protect for the rest of her life."
My Two Cents:
"Amy Snow" is the story of Amy, a young woman who was abandoned as a baby in the snow and was grudgingly taken in by the very well off Vennaway family. The only one that seems to like Amy is the Vennaway daughter Aurelia. Amy starts out as a servant but through the cajoling of Aurelia, becomes a companion, much to Mr. and Mrs. Vennaway's chagrin. When Aurelia dies very young of a heart defect, she sends Amy on a journey to get away from her family and to form a new life for herself. Through letters left behind for Amy, Aurelia will help her come into her own. This is a great debut that had me enthralled from the beginning.
When we meet Amy, she is a fairly shy and sort of down girl. Aurelia seems to be the only one of the Vennaway family that really shows any care or concern for her well being and now she is gone. Amy feels this acutely! Throughout this book, we get to see how Amy realizes that she will be okay without Aurelia and that she is free to make her own way in life. I really liked watching her transition!
I loved the idea that Aurelia sends Amy on a treasure hunt. Aurelia writes incredibly kind letters to Amy to gently lead the way because she knows that Amy will not have many people in the world besides a few of the servants at her parents' home. The letters take Amy to places she never could have imagined and we get a front row seat to her journey. This is a great debut with memorable characters and I am looking forward to seeing what the author comes out with in the future!