Anna is heartbreaking and terrifying, yet highly recommended

Thank you, Anna, you pulled me out of my book slump.

I was pulled into the story titled Anna by Niccolo Ammaniti (PGC Books, Canongate) by the second paragraph and I didn’t put the book down until I read the last page – and cried.

Anna, set in the near future in Italy, follows the story of Anna and Astor, sister and brother, who live in their childhood home with rooms piled high with garbage and their mother’s skeleton on the bed. Every few days, Anna goes beyond her home’s fence to look for provisions and medicines. That is because the pair are on their own as is every child we meet in this book. Because in this Dystopian future, a disease has rapidly spread through the world, killing every adult, leaving behind only the children who have to scavenge for food, escape from starving animals and kids who want what others have.

We learn a lot about Anna and Astor during the course of this book as well as their mother, who crafts a book of knowledge for Anna about everything she needs to do and should come expect as the world’s adults slowly die off.

In true Dystopian fashion, the book was terrifying, incredibly sad and felt quite real. As I read it, my thoughts turned to my nine year old and I felt sick with grief. I can’t imagine dying and knowing he was going to be completely alone, without food, without lights and with little hope.

Yet, I would recommend people read Anna. Anna is a fabulous character – brave, strong, courageous and loyal. Despite the fact she is a child herself, she does everything in her power to ensure her brother is safe and retains hope.

A copy of this book was provided by PGC Books for an honest review. The opinions are my own.