The Amber Fury - Natalie Haynes

We’re all responsible for our actions, and that includes me. In retrospect, I did everything wrong, almost from the moment I arrived in Edinburgh. I was weak, thoughtless and self-centred. I believed I was helping them, or at least I persuaded myself that I was. But the undeniable truth is that if I had made even the slightest effort to look outwards at these children, instead of inwards, I could have changed everything that happened. No-one was destined to die at this point.

Wow. Now, this book was not perfect and there are some aspects that made no sense, such as why an inexperienced teacher would be allowed to teach drama to teenagers with a history of violence without being given either their case files/histories or any training whatsoever on how to deal with certain behaviours or ensure security, is clearly beyond me. Or that the class never actually read any texts in class, which was really weird.

HOWEVER, this book made up for this in many other aspects.

The plot was fresh to me. I could not predict how this was going to go. The characters were fully fleshed out, and the characters’ inner conflicts were really well portrayed.

What I loved best, tho, was that this story was not a re-telling of a Greek classic as the books blurb may have suggested. Instead, Haynes used the plot of Alex, a theatre director, teaching juvenile delinquents about Greek drama as a way to ask whether certain themes and issues addressed in Greek drama are still relevant today and how they would be assessed today.

I thought this book was, despite its light tone of voice, really quite complex and really though-provoking, and all the while Haynes built up a plot that would climax in something that we, as the reader, know is going to happen, but we don’t know what this is and when it will occur.

The Amber Fury was smart and thrilling and I loved it. I certainly also want to read Haynes’ other books.

Even if you have no control over your life, you should live like you have a choice.

Previous reading updates:

Reading progress update: I’ve read 176 out of 298 pages.

Reading progress update: I’ve read 148 out of 298 pages.

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