STORY: Left to perish on a bank of snow as a baby, Amy has never known love, never known family.
Reluctantly given shelter at nearby Hatville Court, she is despised by the masters and servants alike.
The beautiful Hatville heiress, Aurelia Vennaway, is Amy’s only advocate – she becomes the light of Amy’s life, and the centre of her existence.
So when Aurelia dies young, Amy’s world collapses. But Aurelia leaves Amy with one last gift.
A bundle of letters with a coded key. A treasure hunt that only Amy can unlock.
A life-changing secret awaits… if only she can reach it.
REVIEW: January 1831
Aurelia Vennaway, age 8, the daughter of Sir Charles and Lady Celestine Vennaway, has crept outside to be in the fresh air and snow. She wants so much to leave her home of Hatville Court and never return. While outside, she finds an abandoned naked and crying baby laying in the snow. Aurelia’s mother is furious when she brings the baby inside and wants to send her to the orphanage. But Aurelia puts her foot down and insists that they keep her. Aurelia names her Amy Snow. Lady Vennaway insists that she be kept in the kitchen and never be seen by her. Mrs. Vennaway has had many miscarriages and has never been able to give birth to the heir she and her husband desire.
While Amy is little, she stays in the kitchen or the stables with whichever servant is able to watch after her. But each day, Aurelia spends time with her teaching her all kinds of things and they become great friends. As Amy grows, she realizes that she is a servant in the house even though she and Aurelia are so close.
Aurelia has been diagnosed with a bad heart and has an unknown amount of time left for her to live. Fighting her parents, she is finally able to leave and stay with friends of hers in different towns. What was only supposed to be a 3 month trip stretches into over a year. Left at Hatville Court, Amy misses Aurelia terribly. Shortly after she finally returns, her condition worsens but she is able to live for a few more years.
Amy Snow is leaving Hatville Court after having buried Aurelia. Before she died, Aurelia had been an invalid. Amy had been lady’s maid, then companion, then private nurse to her during her illness. Aurelia’s parents are glad to see Amy go. Even though Aurelia was a very wealthy young woman, she only left Amy 10 pounds, a ring, and some sketches she had made. She knew that Amy would be able to start a new life with that amount of money. But she later is secretly given more money from Aurelia from another person so her parents would not find out. They truly hate and resent Amy. Lastly, Amy reads a letter from Aurelia telling her that she has left a treasure hunt for her. This is something that they used to do a lot during their time together. Aurelia wants her to find her wings and fly free. Aurelia had set out destinations for Amy visit which also helps Aurelia finish her own life. Thus begins a journey that allows Amy to blossom and to learn all about the true Aurelia.
What a delightful novel! I loved Aurelia and am awed by her strength and love for Amy. While this book is 550 pages long, do take the time to read it. It will be one to remain with the reader for a long time.
Complimentary copy provided by the publisher
Connie for b2b