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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
Janna McMahan has penned a novel that should disturb us all. She reminds us that there are homeless and hungry teenagers that need our help. Her latest book “Anonymity” introduces readers to Lorelei. Lorelei left Portland over a year ago making her way across the country to Austin. Hunger forced her to seek help; she was directed to the Tumbleweed Young Adult Center where she met Fiona. A tattoo of a Phoenix covered part of Lorelei’s face in an effort to remain anonymous. A young female on the streets was never safe. However, the safest place was in a cemetery; most people would not approach one at night. Lorelei was frightened, she said she was looking for her brother. She said someone was stalking her. But could anything she said be trusted? Emily worked in a bar but dreamed of being a photo-journalist. When Travis Roberts offered her an opportunity she made the most of it. Together they entered the inner sanctuary of the gutter tribes; the homeless had formed individual groups/tribes. They were seeking Crusties. the ones that had been on the street for quite some time. Mook and Elda were Crusties; they acknowledged Lorelei’s presence on the fringes, afraid to join in but wanting too. Emily developed a friendship with Lorelei and offered to help her. As the story progresses we watch as the homeless wash in a McDonalds bathroom only to be chastised by the manager, one of their own is murdered and someone betrays a friend.
“Anonymity” is one of the best books I have read in years. Janna McMahan breathes life into her characters and they march off the page and into the hearts of readers. I was touched by Lorelei and several of the other characters as well. I wanted to reach out to them and offer them hope. This plot has great depth and it is steeped in realism. Janna McMahan is a talented author. In this she hopes to shine light on the issues the homeless face each day. It is her hope that as a society we will reach out to the homeless and offer them the help, the respect and the love they need. I will be watching for more books by this author.