Review:The Amber Fury by Natalie Haynes

I read this book slowly at first but once it took off, half way through, I was fixated on racing towards the climax!
The Amber Fury is a psychological novel, a genre I haven’t read in a while and a guilty pleasure, to be honest.

It’s a story about Alex, a teacher who we know is grieving but we don’t know why. We hear her story through direct narration and this intersperses with diary entries from one of her students.
Alex moves of Edinburgh from London to try to cope with her grief and loss and takes on a drama therapy class at a very challenging school type place. She has a full caseload and is warned off a certain group of students. One of these students is the second teller of the story. Alex teaches them all about Greek tragedies, probably not a good idea to teach about the passion of murder and mayhem as per Sophocles. She covers all the plays that I personally love, giving a neat summary for the non Greek tragedy reader. This works well as it seamlessly weaved into the story, with plays like Electra and Oedipus the King. It’s only when we start to see the students really engage with the themes and actions of the characters in the tragedies that we predict the real tragedy of the story.
This is a very engaging and well written story that paces along well, it’s a story about grief and about how humans simply want to connect with each other. A story of boundaries between student and teacher and how these can be manipulated. A story of a chaotic tragedy where the reader will feel sympathy for the good and bad guy. And they are the hallmarks of good Greek tragedy.
It’s published by Corvus Publishers.


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