About Anna...
by Sophia Michelle Delanner
Infinity House

"I was destined to give beyond reason, to care beyond hope, to love without limit, to reach, stretch, and dream in spite of my fears."

A near forty-year-old Russian immigrant, Anna is one determined woman. Relaying her trials and triumphs from her past and as a single mom living in one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, Anna sheds light on the paradoxes in her life, such as surviving an oppressive Soviet Union, while having to survive her dysfunctional familial environs, and having to deal with her daughter's pigheaded decisions about losing her virginity. Anna has her own issues since she is still looking for love after a litany of mostly abusive ex-husbands and ex-boyfriends. Her life seems to continue on a downward spiral after taking in her ailing yet cantankerous mother, until she meets David.

Sophia Michelle Delanner pens a page-turning fictionalized biographical sketch in her debut novel. Using Anna as her main character, Delanner's first-person narrative is replete with episodes that in many parts have a Seinfeld-feel to them. Quite the storyteller, Delanner embellishes each anecdote—most often a reflection of Anna's dysfunctional family—with uproariously funny scenes complete with a host of well-defined characters. Great scene examples can be found in Anna's awkward encounters with the Pulizer Prize-winning author David Cooper before their relationship takes off. While many chapters incorporate comedic scenes, Delanner's stories also include her beloved grandparents and personal suffering (as well as horrors) associated with WWII and the Soviet Union. A chief theme throughout the plot involves mother and daughter relationships. Anna struggles with her overbearing mother, as well as her own daughter, Hannah. Delanner keeps her narrative crisp and flowing by periodically alternating between Anna's present life, memories from her past, and dark stories from the old country. Because of its human-interest topics, About Anna... has the potential of reaching a wide audience. This is a fascinating and entertaining read from beginning to end.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home