I’m super-excited to introduce Jo, whose brilliant ‘My Chestnut Reading Tree’ won a coveted award as a Hidden Gem in the Annual Bloggers Bash 2017 and has been kind enough to pen a review for my first book of 2018, ‘Anna’. You can see Jo’s fabulous site here… www.mychestnutreadingtree.wordpress.com and I thoroughly recommend that you subscribe to her site to be kept up with all the best in new releases.
My name is Jo Robertson and I have been blogging at My Chestnut Reading Tree for 2 years this month but I have been reading and reviewing books for many more years. I'm a fifty something mum of 3 and nana of 4 living in Cheshire with my Scottish husband and my cavapoo Darcy. I'm a voracious reader, sometimes reading a book a day and I love reading mainly women's fiction and psychological thrillers. All usually accompanied by a large mug of tea (and sometimes a sneaky chocolate biscuit!)
Anna Cole grew up in care, and is determined to start a family of her own. Theo Montgomery had a loveless childhood, and wants only to find his soulmate.
Then, one day, Theo meets Anna, and Anna meets Theo. Two damaged souls from 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?
There are two sides to every love story. This is Anna’s.
As soon as I heard that Amanda Prowse was doing something a little bit different with her next book I was desperate to read it as I was intrigued by the idea of One Love, Two Stories. Then I saw the gorgeous covers of both Anna and Theo and fell in love with them, impressed that both covers can actually be put together so they make a full scene! And it’s the same with the books themselves, on their own they are complete stories but put them together and you will see the bigger picture-what a great concept! And as they are written by the woman called the “queen of the domestic drama” then you just know that you’re going to be taken on an emotional journey into the lives of these characters. Book one is called Anna and it was one of my most anticipated reads of 2018 so would it live up to my expectations? Not only did it live up to them but this book totally EXCEEDED them! I absolutely loved Anna and I’m now on countdown until I can get my hands on Theo!
I became very quickly involved in Anna’s life. I immediately took to the young girl we first meet, who is unaware that her life is about to change forever. Her relationship with her mother was just so joyful to watch but I was always mentally preparing myself for what was about to happen next. So chapter two had the tears flowing from me when Anna’s life fell apart. She coped as best she could for one so young but when further tragedies occur, this thoughtful and kind hearted little girl ends up in the care system. She has ways of coping with her anxieties, one of which made me smile as it’s similar to a method taught to me as a child that I still use to this day to help me sleep. This young girl melted my heart and I just wanted to mother her myself and keep her safe from harm. Amanda Prowse has created such a likeable and sympathetic character that you can’t help but root for her as she goes through the care system and out the other side. And although a sense of loneliness follows her, she seems to attract loyalty in those few friends that she does make. But my favourite side of Anna was the Anna that truly came to life in the letters she wrote throughout her story. These very poignant communications showed an Anna full of hope for her future, a side of her that was positive even when everything around her was falling apart.
Although I became completely engrossed in Anna’s life, I was always looking forward to the meeting that I knew was eventually going to come-the moment that she met Theo. He was a slightly more closed book than Anna and, although we do get an insight into his own past difficulties, I’m sure that we will have the gaps filled in when we get to book two. There was certainly a “cliffhanger” element to Anna that means that the next book should hopefully provide a happy ever after for this couple but I also know that this author often brings a gritty realism to her relationships and that the path to happiness never runs as smoothly as we would like.
I make no secret of the fact that I adore this authors books and have read them all! She brings out emotions in me that I didn’t know I had as she tackles dilemmas that can sometimes be extremely difficult to read about. But these highly emotive subjects are always so intricately handled by Amanda’s wonderfully engaging prose. Anna is just so beautifully written and the emotions of the characters so perfectly expressed that I was often moved to tears. In fact, I had a tissue permanently in my hand as a precaution and it was well used so be warned!
Amanda Prowse really knows how to engage with her readers and because of that, her characters are always very relatable. I find that the older I get and the more life experiences I have had, the more I appreciate just how good she is at understanding and conveying the problems facing women and their families in this current social climate. Anna and Theo may come from totally different backgrounds but both are looking for that unconditional love they were denied as children and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that book two brings them the happiness that they both deserve.
Absolute perfection from the wonderful Amanda Prowse and highly recommended by me!