Title: About Anna
Author: Sophia Michelle Delanner
Publication: January 27, 2015 – Paperback
Publisher: Infinity House
Genre: Literature & Fiction
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
Anna, who has always lived under the microscopic judgment of her narcissistic mother, is a Russian immigrant on the verge of turning forty and a single mother of a headstrong teenage daughter. After a life-long succession of regrettable choices and a slew of bad relationships, Anna gives up hope of finding her better half—until she meets David. Their all-consuming love seems timeless and everlasting, but both of their pasts just might destroy their future.
Set in contemporary New York City, this dysfunctional love story explores, with uncompromising candor, the nuances of human nature. Crossing generations and continents, Sophia’s narrative details the joys and hardships of an immigrant renting an apartment in a shabby-chic neighborhood, where the long-buried tensions that fester among families begin to surface in unexpected ways and change the family forever.
Engrossing, unpredictable, and moving, the novel will make you laugh out loud one moment and swallow back tears the next. In the vein of Vladimir Nabokov, Mikhail Bulgakov, and Leo Tolstoy, About Anna… presents a rich narrative about a life in which the road to forgiveness is hard—and the path to self-acceptance is even harder. Delanner’s complex characters will resonate with you long after the final page is turned.
When I was asked to read this book the description sounded intriguing, but I was a little worried since this isn’t normally the kind of book I would pick for myself. I’m happy to report I was pleasantly surprised and glad I read it.
The book tells the story of Anna, a Russian immigrant, who is a struggling author with occasional writer’s block. She is a Pilates trainer who lives in New York City with her teenage daughter, Hannah. As the story progresses, you find out more about her life. She has had two failed marriages. The first one, she was young and in love and turned a blind eye to his cheating ways. Her second marriage produced her daughter. Unfortunately, this husband was verbally and physically abusive and it resulted in Anna miscarrying their second child. Those were just the beginning of a long line of bad choices in men for Anna. None of those relationships ended in marriage until she fell in love with a famous author, David Cooper, after a chance meeting at Starbucks. The second storyline is about her relationship with her family, mainly her mother. She has a meddling, narcissistic mother whose life is always “woe is me”. Her mother always has some sort of ailment that can only be cured by pressing and drinking carrot juice. She also interacts with her mother’s sister, Bella, who lives in the apartment building across the courtyard with her long suffering husband Michael. Throughout the story her mother and Aunt Bella are constantly harping on Anna to find a man, get married, treat your mother better, lose weight, find a better job, and stop being such an embarrassment to her family. I could go on and on about this book, but I want to leave all the twists and turns for you to discover and appreciate for yourself.
While this book wasn’t a “holy cow, I cannot put this down” sort of novel is was very well written and incredibly relatable on many levels. I hope that this author continues to write novels that people can enjoy and connect to for years to come. I know that I will be on the lookout for more of her books in the future.
You can pick up your copy of “About Anna” on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Also add it to your TO READ list on Goodreads! You can also visit Delanner online at her website HERE!