3 out of 4 stars
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Anna's Journey is a reminder of what life should be. People have always been obsessed by greed and envy, it seems as if generosity, compassion and amity are just empty words. This book is a refreshing read, full of positivity and love which will restore your faith in humanity.
Anna is a lively eighty-four-year-old lady who has lived through a lot. The story follows her friendship with Robert, a ten-year-old boy who helps her around the house to earn some pocket money. Her compassion for others makes her determined to help him when his family problems culminate in a horrendous misfortune and he is left on his own. Even though her chances of getting legal custody are slim to none, she is far from giving up when the boy needs her the most. She strikes a friendship with an attorney, Jack Porter, who is perhaps the only one willing to study the case together with his love interest. The lives of these four incredible characters intertwine in more ways than one. When time takes its toll on Anna and her health worsens, they know they have to stick together to weather the storm.
As soon as I opened the book, I was pleasantly surprised by the excellent formatting as it's something that plays a huge role in being able to enjoy eBooks. First line indents, font choice and its size as well as the spacing make it easy to read the book on any device without straining your eyes. From the moment I started reading, I was hooked. The book is well written, without any noticeable grammar mistakes. I like how the author pays attention to detail, but doesn’t overdo it. Characters are relatable and are faced with life problems we have at least heard about if not experienced them.
I can’t say it's realistic because almost everything is resolved without too much hassle. Getting legal custody isn’t that easy in real life, it isn’t something that can be done in a few days either. Another aspect is Ann’s energy. I can hardly think that such an old lady can do all the cooking and cleaning by herself all day long. She even drives a car. Although it sounds nice, her reflexes are probably far from good at such age. Robert also seems a bit too mature for his age. All children are different, so perhaps some like him are forced to grow up quickly because of their family problems. I don’t mind that the book is far-fetched, so this is more an observation than something negative. When her health issues start, other characters jump in to help with her recovery as well as look after the boy. The best part of the story starts right there, where we can see how much we all need support and love from others.
The story is often dragged out, about a hundred and fifty pages could’ve been removed from the book without it losing value. This isn’t a story where a lot of things happen, so I had a feeling that some parts were only fillers. Moreover, there is a good amount of repetition. For instance, Ann explained the situation with the boy to a couple of different people, providing a detailed explanation every time. Even though the readers are already familiar with it, reading that explanation for the first time is acceptable. But reading it over and over again is pointless. Instead of repeating the whole dialogue, the author could have simply described it in one sentence.
Even though I absolutely love Ann, she is the typical ‘’Mary Sue’’ (a seemingly perfect fictional character). No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't find any flaws. Everything she does is impeccable. I don’t believe there is someone who never makes any mistakes so after a while it got tiresome and unconvincing. Yes, the book is lighthearted and thoughtful, but it could’ve been that even without flawless characters. Robert and some of the characters that appear only once, such as a policeman and a car sales representative, are just the same. If I put that aside, another remark is the predictability. Before reading the book, I already knew what was going to happen and how it would end. It is something to be expected regarding this genre, so it doesn’t bother me as much, but I thought it would be good to point it out.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is a well-written and heartwarming story. I would recommend it to anyone who would like to read a slow-paced story without too many surprises along the way. Although it is not realistic, it gives us hope. It will motivate you to be kind, generous and appreciate life more. If more people were like Anna, the world would be a better place.
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