Since the death of her dad in a fire that she survived, 13 year old Anna moves to Scotland to live with her estranged mum. Having Asperger’s Syndrome she now has to find a way to change her coping mechanisms to fit with her new life in a strange place with unfamiliar people – ‘a new start’ she keeps being told but she’s not convinced.
When Anna arrives at her mum’s cramped flat that’s nestled between curtain-twitching neighbours, the whispers of gossip follow her along the street and it’s not long before she begins to realise her mum has secrets that will change what she knew about her dad, forever.
Anna becomes friends with Jamie, a foster-child who lives across the street, together they forge a friendship that takes them from climbing too-tall trees to annoying the man in The Big House. Memories, secrets and forgotten pasts come to fore as she tries to piece together the puzzle of who she really is, the connections to her family’s history and the future that awaits her in her new home.
Laura Guthrie’s debut ‘Anna‘ is a novel everyone should read, not only to educate and inform the reader on Neuro Diversity but also perhaps to consider how we interact with others along the way. Acceptance and understanding is key, and Laura Guthrie’s story has this in abundance. A fantastic read that has stayed with me to this day.