Joanne Robertson's Reviews > My Name is Anna

My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber
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it was amazing

My Name is Anna is a stunning debut novel that I defy you not to lose yourself in and read in one session. It’s an involving, character driven mystery that is so beautifully written it’s impossible not to fall in love with these two young girls as they struggle to make sense of their life changing discoveries.

There’s a fascinating and very current feel to the plot line and, as I’ve always been drawn to real life cases where missing children are searched for by their families, it was a must read for me. The computer generated images of how loved ones will hopefully have aged always breaks my heart when I see them, whilst wondering what the reality of the comparison would really be. Families are often torn apart by the disappearance or murder of a child, as often feelings of guilt overwhelm any strong connection between the parents, so it was interesting to meet the Archer family and realise that they were still a complete family unit. Saying that, it’s a far from normal atmosphere for their children to grow up in and Rosie plus her brother Rob have to deal with the constant media attention so that they are constantly living with the disappearance of their sister Emily.

The other narrator we follow is 18 year old Anna. Anna lives in Florida with her God fearing mother in a very strict household but has always accepted this way of life. That is until a rebellious trip to a local theme park with her boyfriend makes her question everything that has gone on before. I loved watching Anna as a character as she became more independent from her controlling parent and, although I found her mother a difficult person to warm to at first, as the plot developed I couldn’t help but feel a certain sympathy for the life she had lived and the reasons behind it.

Although it’s obvious both these girls are connected in some way, I never lowered my guard to the possibility of further twists to the plot. And as the situation became clearer, my emotions were torn, watching as the build up to the powerful and affecting denouement exploded with a harrowing and heartbreaking outcome. This dramatic but poignant storyline means that My Name is Anna is a book you will find extremely difficult to put down whilst also being one that will leave you reflecting on the choices and decisions made. Lizzy Barber didn’t, thankfully, make her ending too melodramatic with all the ends of her threads neatly tied off which I appreciated as it felt more authentic.

My Name is Anna is a contemplative and keenly observed debut novel that really stood out for me and has me excited for future books by Lizzy Barber! A brilliant read!

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Reading Progress

November 2, 2018 – Shelved
November 2, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
December 30, 2018 – Started Reading
January 10, 2019 – Finished Reading

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