REVIEW: AFTER ANNA, BY LISA SCOTTOLINE


 

Dr. Noah Alderman, a widower and single father, has remarried a wonderful woman, Maggie Ippolitti, and for the first time in a long time, he and his young son are happy. Despite her longing for the daughter she hasn’t seen since she was a baby, Maggie is happy too, and she’s even more overjoyed when she unexpectedly gets another chance to be a mother to the child she thought she’d lost forever, her only daughter Anna. 

Maggie and Noah know that having Anna around will change their lives, but they would never have guessed that everything would go wrong, and so quickly. Anna turns out to be a gorgeous 17-year-old who balks at living under their rules, though Maggie, ecstatic to have her daughter back, ignores the red flags that hint at the trouble brewing in a once-perfect marriage and home. 

Events take a heartbreaking turn when Anna is murdered and Noah is accused and tried for the heinous crime. Maggie must face not only the devastation of losing her daughter, but the realization that Anna’s murder may have been at the hands of a husband she loves. In the wake of this tragedy, new information drives Maggie to search for the truth, leading her to discover something darker than she could have ever imagined. 


My Thoughts: Alternating narratives take the reader back and forth in time through the riveting pages of After Anna.

How could their lives have turned upside down so quickly? And how could they have seen any of it coming? Is Maggie in denial about her husband…or about her daughter? Has Noah made some foolish choices that have come back to haunt him?

As I rapidly turned the pages, I came to my own interpretation of events, some of which I took away from years of working with dysfunctional families and with people who have completely opposing versions of the truth. In this case, there are at least two sides to the truth…but then there can also be an unexpected player in this family tragedy.

From the beginning, I did not like Anna, but understood how Maggie could be fooled by her. After all, she was suffering from the guilt of having lost her child in infancy. Now she has to make up for their losses, which means that she has blinders on and misses all the red flags.

Noah did not do himself any favors when he failed to share his own qualms…but then again, a man in this scenario is often unaware of the manipulations going on around him.

Just when we thought all was settled, albeit not very happily, we are thrown off course by some startling revelations that changed everything we thought we knew. As a result, we enjoyed a very satisfactory conclusion. 5 stars.


***My e-ARC came from the publisher via NetGalley.
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12 thoughts on “REVIEW: AFTER ANNA, BY LISA SCOTTOLINE

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this one as well. Lisa Scottoline has been a favorite of mine for over 2 decades and I don’t think she’s ever disapointed me! I didn’t know what to think about Anna at first, but I didn’t expect things to happen the way it did!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was glued to the pages, thinking “wow!” And then the final twists…

      I am also a fan of Scottoline, and love the variety of her work, from mysteries and legal thrillers, to domestic drama, and then there are those hilarious memoirs.

      Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie.

      Like

      • Yes, so was I! I really enjoyed the way she wrote it with the alternating narratives. The final twist I didn’t see coming at all! This is the next book I need to review if I can find the motivation with my kids off and all home for spring break this week!

        Scottoline is such a diverse author. We lived outside of Philly for a few years when my husband was in the Air Force, and I loved reading her funny articles in the newspaper. I have to admit that I haven’t read her memoirs but need to! If they’re half as funny as her articles or even her Twitter page, then I’m sure they’re a riot!

        Liked by 1 person

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