When I read this book, I was blown away by the imagery the author is able to portray. Gritty, dark, emotional and powerful. Honest to God, I thought I was reading something by John Grisham. He’s that good. I thought there’s no way this is the first novel. I receive a lot of requests to review new authors and it’s something I enjoy doing. Sometimes I get clunkers, sometimes, pretty good, but wow, this is one of the BEST books by a new author I’ve read.
Anna Ramanova is a 9 year old girl who is abused by all of the kids at school on a daily basis. She is bullied, beaten up and emotionally abused at school. She’s very smart and has a photographic mind. Her home life is even worse. Her mother was murdered by her stepfather but the police believe it to be an accident. Her step father and step brothers are all part of a large drug operation. Anna’s job is to deliver drugs via her bicycle all over town and during all hours of the night.
Her life is bleak and she keeps wanting to kill herself but can’t make her body do what is needed. One day she is at her mom’s grave when she sees a statue of archangel Michael. She climbs up, hugs it and prays for help. The next day, a stranger is there to help her when the school bullies are trying to force feed her dog feces. His name is Mikhail and they soon become fast friends.
My friends, I could not put this book down. I finished it a week ago and it has stayed with me, every day. As someone who has survived child abuse, mentally, physically, sexually, emotionally, abandonment and neglect, I love a story when there is someone there to rescue someone like little me. I am at a point in my healing where it is safe for me to do so. But for those of you who are not, or are sensitive to such tragic issues, this may be a difficult story for you to read, Also, there is an incident of dog fighting. When I realized what was about to happen, I skimmed ahead a few pages for I’m very sensitive and triggered by animal abuse.
This is a terrifically written story, it is meaty, edgy, and wonderful. Thanks to Tony for writing such a fantastic novel.