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?
Her name was Anna, or that was what she thought and indeed we thought she was, author Lizzie Barber however had other plans. as she took us on a journey. That journey involved two young girls, Anna and Rosie, two girls with widely different backgrounds , that Barber used to brilliant effect,
Anna, did not have the advantage of the internet, TV or mobile phone, her methods of discovery were the old fashioned kind, that of instinct, gut feeling and making good use of opportunities that presented themselves. In some ways it allowed Barber to explore her emotions, her confusion as to who she was that little bit more. For me, what made her story all the more interesting and poignant was her feelings towards her mother, at times anger and at other an overriding sense of loyalty and love for the woman who had raised her.
Rosie, was the child that had to live up to the older sister that went missing and never came back. Barber made me feel quite sorry for her, always having to check in, to ride the waves of the emotional rollercoaster that enveloped her parents, to live the life of the perfect teenager. Yet, Rosie had a tenacious, feisty side to her that I loved, and her quest to discover the mystery of her sisters disappearance made for pretty gripping reading.
Barbers use of alternating chapters showing Anna and Rosie’s points of view was seamlessly done, it allowed Barber to show two differing sides and for me it was utterly thought provoking. Its similarities with Madeline McCann really made me think what it must have been and still is like for the parents, remaining children and the wider family. It so clearly highlighted what really happens when the media disappears and moves on to the next story. You just wanted Rosie and Anna to be normal, to be doing all the things that normal teenagers do, but it was their drive to discover the truth that stayed firmly at the heart of the novel, the pace unrelenting as they each unearthed revelation after revelation.
I had to think really hard about my feelings towards Anna’s mother. Did I feel sorry for her, did I despise her and her unorthodox child rearing methods or was she too a victim? This was an aspect of the novel that I found challenged my thinking and I for one love any novel that can do that, and do it so well.
I desperately wanted a happy ending, and although it is not for me to say, My Name is Anna will leave you with more questions than answers.
It will pull you into a whirlwind of emotions and drama and a world you would never wish to enter. It would make a great TV drama or film and I really do hope that someone will take a chance on My Name Is Anna and bring it to life.
I would like to thank Arrow Publishing for a copy of My Name Is Anna to read and review and Rachel Kennedy for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.
About the author
Lizzy Barber studied English at Cambridge University and works as the head of brand and marketing for a restaurant group. Her debut novel, My Name is Anna, was the winner of the Daily Mail crime writing competition and she is currently hard at work on her next thriller. Lizzy lives in London with her husband.