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.


Available in PRINT or EBOOK

A beautifully written debut novel with rich, complex characters—Meredith Hall, author of Beneficence

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

Upcoming Events

June 24, 2022 7:00 PST

Stories on Stage, Sacramento

Professional actors read selections from Like A Complete Unknown and Vanessa Hua’s new novel, Forbiddden City. INFO HERE

July 9, 2022 11:30 PST

Ruby’s Books, Folsom

Anara in conversation with Shelley Blanton-Stroud, author of the new novel Tom Boy. Come hear about feisty female characters!

Chicago Book Review
San Francisco Book Review
Midwest Book Review