Samantha Stone, by Janet Buck, is a five-course meal of memoir, suspense, romance, deceit, and the tale of a young amputee who struggles to define herself in the face of adversity so complex it can’t be real, yet it is. Samantha loses her birth mother to Leukaemia shortly after her 3rd birthday. A woman with a tongue so sharp it can slice a lemon without a knife takes her mother’s place, and the friction in the Stone home is more crippling than her disability. On the cusp of her 18th birthday, she finds herself leaning on her best friend’s arm in a world tainted by murder, deceit, and addiction. Samantha craves both approval and a man in her life who won’t dissolve like bouillon cubes in a boiling pot of grief and loss, yet trust itself seems nothing but a futile dream. Buck calls Samantha Stone an “Immorality Play.” Through that backdoor, puzzle pieces of “morality” itself emerge and glisten on the icy streets of Castle City. Abounding humour and witty dialogue make tragedy more edible. Read this book of torment and struggle—discover for yourself whether Samantha survives—makes angels in the snow—or freezes in its girth.