Big news in the world of publishing – Britain’s ‘queen of domestic drama,’ Amanda Prowse, has written two novels encompassing one intensely moving love story. As the blurb says, ‘there are two sides to every story’. The first part of this novel is the beautiful and whimsical Anna.
Anna Cole is only a little girl when we first meet her and her mum at their South London flat. Anna loves her mum and her troubled big brother Joe. She doesn’t know who her father is, but she thinks of him often. All Anna knows is that his name is Michael and he drives a black cab. She writes to two imaginary children and dreams of her future family.
Anna’s life begins to unravel when her beloved mother dies and Joe spirals further into a world of a drugs and deprivation. Anna ends up at her awful Aunt Lizzie’s in grim suburbia, far from her London home. The only person left who understands her is cousin Jordan, who is struggling with his sexuality and dreaming of New York City. But when Aunt Lizzie remains distant and cruel, that’s not enough to keep her there. When Anna flees back to London she is intercepted by the police and sees out her teenage years at a care home.
Anna finds it hard to fit in but she’s a straight-A student and works hard. Once eighteen, she carves out an existence back in London, but it’s a mediocre job and she doesn’t truly love her boyfriend. Years later, her fortunes change after a chance encounter in a lift brings her face-to-face with the rich and handsome Theo. Outward perfection however, hides the turmoil within this charming man. Theo might have a beautiful home and wealth Anna can only dream of, but he too endured a terrible childhood, with rich, hypocritical parents who only cared about appearances, and a private school education he’d rather forget.
Theo seems to offer Anna a fairy tale life, but her dreams quickly come unstuck once again. Throughout it all, she continues to write letters to her imaginary children. Life throws so much at Anna, we wonder how she can cope. Cope she does though, in this heart-warming, moving story of how through love and resilience a person can still shine.
From Dickens’ David Copperfield, to Harry Potter, the orphan has long been a favourite protagonist of classic novels and in Anna Cole, Amanda Prowse has created a modern twist on the character. Anna is an endearing and unforgettable creation.
In a bold and inventive publishing move, Prowse gives us the other side of the story with the lightening-like follow-up novel, Theo. The great thing is that having fallen in love with Anna, we don’t have to wait a year for a sequel – the ‘other side’ of the story featuring the equally gorgeous Theo, is available one month later.
Enjoy – we know you will.
Amanda Prowse is the author of number one bestsellers What Have I Done?, Perfect Daughter and My Husband’s Wife. Her books have sold millions of copies worldwide, and she is published in dozens of languages.