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Anna by Sammy H.K. Smith

Publication Date 27.05.21

Beaten. Branded. Defiant.

Anna is a possession. She is owned by the man named Will, shielded from the world of struggles by his care. He loves her, protects her, and then breaks her. Anna is obedient, dutiful, and compliant. Anna does not know her place in the world.

When she falls pregnant, Anna leaves her name behind, and finds the strength to run. But the past - and Will - catch up with her in an idyllic town with a dark secret, and this time, it's not just Anna who is at risk.

A chilling feminist novel set in a near-future dystopia, Anna explores the conflicts between selfhood and expectations, safety and control, and the sacrifices we make for the sake of protection.

Five Star Review

Powerful. Raw. Courageous.

This is written with such brutal honesty that you feel every indignity, every cruel punch, kick and rip of the hair. At times it is horrific in its detail and just as Anna cowers from the abuse you find it hard to read more. However you must because Anna's story needs to be witnessed her voice needs to be heard. And you must follow her journey to the end.

Through clever world building the author has created a credible dystopian future. Her descriptions are vivid and tangible. But it is also damning of our society that we won't find it too fantastical or beyond our imagination. The abuse of women like Anna is a stark reality today and could be any one of us or one of our friends. The narrative here is so authentic that the jump you need to inhabit Anna's world is easily made. It is of no surprise therefore to learn that the author works as a police detective in Oxfordshire, specialising in domestic and sex abuse. This makes Anna's tale of survival even more compelling.

Anna is a fantastic character, strong, feminist and defiant. The horror and danger that surrounds her is terrifying but although her body might be bruised and battered her spirit rarely is. I cried for her, smiled for her and cheered every small victory she made. I hated the men.

There is tension throughout the narrative. It keeps you turning the pages. Some of it full throttle and in your face but at other times it simmers in the background. You aren't sure what it is but It makes you anxious and nervous. You wonder what is happening. And how Anna will respond. Such intelligent writing is seen rarely. I wanted a happy ending desperately.

However, this is not just a tale of abuse, it goes beyond that and evolves into a celebration of maternal love and how courage exists in the most bleakest of places. It really is a masterpiece of a book. A rollercoaster of a read and a unique tale.

Highly Recommended

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