Anna by Amanda Prowse
From the heartbreaking, uplifting and bestselling Amanda Prowse, this is an unforgettable romance about what happens when two very different people fall in love.
There are two sides to every love story. This is Anna’s.
Anna Cole grew up poor, but her mother’s love made her feel rich every day. Then her mother died, and Anna was sent to a care home. As a teenager, Anna vowed that one day, she would have children of her own, and create the happy, noisy family life she always craved.
Then, one day, Anna meets Theo Montgomery in a lift. Theo has kind eyes, but a sad past. His family were rich, but his childhood was full of neglect. Theo can’t imagine bringing a child into this cruel world, but he does want a soulmate. Someone to love him unconditionally; someone with whom he can share his family’s wealth.
Theo and Anna are two damaged souls, from two different worlds. Is their love for each other enough to let go of the pain of their pasts? Or will Anna and Theo break each others’ hearts?
One Half of a Love Story!
Amanda Prowse has long since been a favourite author of mine. I have not read a single one of her books that has not reduced my reading corner to piles of snotty tissues. So it’s no surprise that when I was offered a pre-release copy to read and review, that I jumped at the chance.
I was desperate to devour her latest work the moment the book hit my doormat, the cover willing me to open the pages like the ‘ring’ tempted Frodo, but as it so often does, life got in the way a few times. I picked up the book and read the first page only to be hassled with daily chores and necessary housework. Kids nagging to be fed… husband demanding that I listen to him while he talks…
But thanks to Mother Nature, ‘The beast from the East’ brought her wrath for the second time and most of northern Europe was hit with warnings for extreme weather conditions.
Perfect! A day when I can’t leave the house and an excuse to make a large pot of coffee and snuggle under a duvet with ‘Anna’.
I am so glad I waited.
Why? Becuase it took three days for my eyes to recover from the tears, and a further 5 days for me to bring myself to write a review I feared would never do this beautiful book justice.
I never doubted for a moment that Amanda would ‘do it again‘ with her latest book, but I don’t think I ever manage to truly prepare myself for the rollercoaster journey she manages to take me on each time I delve into the pages that create her world.
Anna and Theo are destined to meet… we know this because their story is split in two. We know this because the cover of the books tells us so. One Love, Two Stories… so we know that Anna is meant to meet Theo. What we are not told, is just how much Anna will have to go through to meet her man. Or indeed warned that just because she meets him, it will go anything less than smooth.
Life doesn’t work that way does it?
And those who have read Amanda’s work before know that this woman is uniquely skilled at writing true to life stories. No rose-tinted glasses, no neat little bows. This is a life that you can relate to, with its ups and downs and a million shades of grey.
Her latest book does not disappoint.
What is the book about?
Anna is a beautiful young girl. She lives with her adoring mother and despite the lack of a father in her life, her world is not void of love. Her mother and brother are all she needs. But losing her mother takes her perfect yet simple life and turns it upside down.
Anna wants her own children, more than anything in the world. She is desperate to create a life that she recognises, filled with love and family… at least the family she once had. Annas life philosophy revolves around her strong belief in herself and her ability to achieve her dreams. In her own words “It doesn’t matter where you start in life, it’s where you finish that counts.”
But knowing that, and desperate to create a world that brings her joy, she finally feels her world is complete when she meets Theo. Despite all the pain, heartache and fighting to survive, Theo turns up and her world finally feels complete.
The only thing is… Theo doesn’t want children. Theo has his own baggage, and most of the time it seems so heavy he is suffocating by it. He can’t begin to imagine bringing a child into a world he feels is so cruel and cold.
Theo won’t open up, he can’t open up. But his reluctance to share and his insistence on a child-free life is tearing them apart.
These two damaged souls with so much love to give, find each other at a time in life when they surely can fix each other’s broken parts.
Amanda Prowse is skilled, of that there is no doubt. Her ability to seamlessly weave comical, humorous everyday life with heart-wrenching, guttural and painful moments is a testament to her. Amanda has carefully and expertly explored the true life of a child in care and how it can affect their life going forward.
The small notes of grief that are sprinkled throughout the book seem to sprout through the concrete at the most inopportune of moments. But isn’t that exactly how grief works? Popping up when you least expect it, with reminders and lessons when you are not even aware you are seeking them?
Throughout this book, I laughed and I cried. The air was sucked from my chest each time I felt the world fall apart around Anna and my heart soared each time I witnessed her triumph. Anna became my best friend, my confidant, my sister and my soul mate. And when I turned the last page, I died just a little inside… desperate to know how the story starts/ends/continues. I have questions, I have arguments in my head left unvoiced. I have pains left un-soothed and wounds left wide open.
But it’s ok… because I didn’t have long to wait … Theo was set for publication just a month after the release of Anna and I am settling down to read his side of the story.
Although I am left in no doubt that finishing that book will undoubtedly leave me with another book hangover, I am also certain that knowing Amanda, she has more than a few surprises up her sleeve and I, for one, can’t wait to dive right in.
Well done Amanda. I am, once again, utterly floored by your talent.
Anna by Amanda Prowse is Published by: Head of Zeus