Publication Day #review My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber @ByLizzyBarber @arrowpublishing @Rachel90Kennedy #mynameisanna

About this book…

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?

My review…

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!

Meet 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.


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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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