Happy Wednesday, guys! I’m back today after a little reading-binge to talk about a fantastic book! Let me tell you, January is being very nice to me book-wise!
My biggest thanks to Rachel at Century for inviting me to be part of this blog tour and for providing me with a copy of this book. (I hate the post for losing my print copy!!!!)
Title: My Name Is Anna
Author: Lizzy Barber
Date of publication: 10th January 2019
Two women – desperate to unlock the truth.
How far will they go to lay the past to rest?
ANNA has been taught that virtue is the path to God. But on her eighteenth birthday she defies her Mamma’s rules and visits Florida’s biggest theme park.
She has never been allowed to go – so why, when she arrives, does everything seem so familiar? And is there a connection to the mysterious letter she receives on the same day?
ROSIE has grown up in the shadow of the missing sister she barely remembers, her family fractured by years of searching without leads.Now, on the fifteenth anniversary of her sister’s disappearance, the media circus resumes in full flow, and Rosie vows to uncover the truth.
But will she find the answer before it tears her family apart?
What’s in a name? For the main characters in Lizzy Barber’s novel, a name is everything. It defines you, your surroundings, your feelings, and your family.
Anna and Rosie couldn’t be more different.
Anna has been raised in a very religious setting, obeying her mother and her rules. Frail, with a kind heart torn between doing what’s right in her mother’s eyes and what any girl of eighteen would like to live, she feels stuck and guilty of it. The author did a perfect job at showing just how complicated feelings can be when you’ve only known so much, when doors appear, and when your world feels too close to the edge.
Rosie. Forever in the shadow of her bigger sister, “the one who disappeared”. What does it feel to be left behind? To keep on living in the same place, with the same people, when something is missing? When someone is missing? I found Rosie very resilient. It takes a lot to go on a chase adults haven’t managed to finish, to take up where leads have dried, for the sake of your family. The ‘not-knowing’ is an underestimated torture. My heart beat for this family, for a happy ending I knew would never happen because we can’t rewind time, we can’t get lost days back. I was fully aware that Rosie’s plan to get her sister back came right from her heart but would not be an ending in itself. Indeed, what happens when you manage to find the missing person you’ve been dreaming of? Aren’t they just a stranger? The shadow of the person you expected? The fight doesn’t end when you get reunited… if you ever get the chance to be.
Two faces of the same coin. Two nightmares. Different but linked by an invisible hand. This beautiful and heart-wrenching novel manages to keep both storylines engaging and gripping with alternate chapters taking you on roads you wish no one would have to walk on. My feelings were all over the place. What would I do if my sibling was gone? What would I say if I found out my life had been a lie? What, what, what. So many whats, no real answer! Because there can’t be a good answer. A single event triggered a series of explosions that left scars and not even time can repair those. How do you build your world when the foundations are shaky?
Worse, what can you do when some people don’t want the truth to come out? Would you be ready to jeopardize the semblance of a normal life that you know?
My Name Is Anna is a stunning piece about finding yourself, digging old truths, and religion. I was born and raised Catholic, now I believe in books. But do not worry about the R word. No preaching here. Just faith, and an amazingly chilling backdrop of religion gone bad. I can’t say more than this without spoiling the fun but bloggers like my friend Annie @TheMisstery91 would ADORE this book! Lizzy Barber takes a touchy subject and wraps her plot around it, framing her characters’ lives with a white veil that hold all the answers. It is brilliant, it is thought-provoking, it is awfully relevant.
Anna… Oh Anna! I felt for her, I wanted to shake her, I wish I could have held her. Sweet Anna who tries not to drown in the blurry world that is hers. Choked by mixed feelings, hoping to see the light without making too many waves, she opens the Pandora box and there is no way back. Her journey is painful and bloody, messy and muddy. Her heart and soul have been marked forever.
And bad people want to make sure things stay as they are.
You get more than a character-driven book. My Name Is Anna is a steady-paced maze in which each action has consequences. The more you run for the escape, the darker the place becomes. Truly addictive and stunningly written, you can’t refuse this invitation to meet Anna…
Anna gets released TOMORROW! Here’s the link to the book…
Don’t forget to check out the great posts from my fellow bloggers!
Lizzy Barber studied English at Cambridge University and works as the head of brand and marketing for a restaurant group. My Name is Anna is her debut novel and beat out 5,000 entries to be the unanimous winner of a national novel writing competition. Lizzy lives in London with her husband, and is currently hard at work on her next thriller.
Follow Lizzy at @ByLizzyBarber