Anara Guard, Author
Like a Complete Unknown
In 1969, a girl’s life is not her own. Katya’s parents demand she drop out of school to join a cleaning crew. She runs away instead—but the counterculture isn’t as welcoming as she dreamed. Starry-eyed, barefoot, and in trouble, she turns to widowed Dr. Lewis for help at his women’s clinic, then disappears. The aging doctor’s rash impulse to save her might rejuvenate his own melancholy life. While Katya hunts for freedom and Robert searches for her, they each encounter beauty and chaos as they brave the unknown.
A compelling and evocative portrait that speaks to our own complex social times.
Honorable Mention, Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year for 2022
PLAYLIST available here.
A beautifully written debut novel with rich, complex characters—Meredith Hall, author of Beneficence
Guard brings these seemingly disparate characters together to explore friendship, with a satisfying redemption arc that makes the story unforgettable.—Kenyon Bulletin
Lyrical and self-aware—San Francisco Book Review
Speaks intimately of our own complex social moment—Mary Volmer, author of Reliance, Illinois
Fantastic page-turner that broke my heart and mended it—Readers’ Favorites
Deeply felt, intimately and powerfully inhabited story—Ronne Hartfield, author of Another Way Home
Remarkable story of persistence, self-discovery and redemption—Marcia Butler, author of Oslo, Maine
Fast-paced novel with touches of the poetic—Hungry for Good Books
An engaging novel about second chances—Foreword Reviews
Vivid, thought-provoking—Midwest Book Review