This traditionally published book kept my interest right from the start. Anna, a deeply religious eleven year old girl in 1850’s rural Ireland, has not taken any food for four months and only a few sips of water, but still remains alive and well. Lib, a nurse from England, is sent to discover whether Anna is a living breathing miracle, or whether it is all a scam in order for Anna’s parents to benefit from monies donated by visiting tourists. Lib and a nun take it in turns to watch Anna night and day to ensure she is not secretly eating when nobody is looking.
This is a very well researched novel that kept me turning the pages. By reading this you can well imagine how life was like in the Irish Midlands in the mid 19th Century. Religion of course plays a large part in the novel, and there are a few unexpected twists in the story as well. The book is based on the true stories of fasting girls from the 16th – 20th centuries.
Is Anna living on manna from heaven as she claims, or are Anna’s parents secretly feeding her? You will have to read the book to find out!
I would recommend this book to fans of women’s fiction and historical family dramas.