Second novel, For Love of Anna, published 2009. This was two and half years in the making. There are three main strands running through it. Firstly, it may be read as a poignant love story – Anna is a ballerina with whom the main protagonist, the university student, Guido van Thool, falls in love. But Anna is also an acronym for Anarchists of the New Age, which brings us to the second dimension of the novel as an ideological story positing ideas in the mind of the philosophy student Guido, in the wake of the collapse of Russian communism and the dilution of oppositional politics, on what alternatives there are to the all-devouring monolith of corporate capitalism. Anna wants to steer him away from this sort of ‘dangerous’ thinking, but his friend, the anarchist Philippe, keeps goading him. Paralleling the lives of the lovers is that of a corrupt judge, Jeremiah Delahyde (the third strand) who literally crashes into the world of Guido and Anna on a fatal New Years night.
Enclosed below is the song which was played in the disco scene in For Love of Anna, the night the tragedy occurred to Anna Zweig, the beautiful ballerina with whom the philosophy student Guido van Thool fell in love. Composed by Guido, and sung by LonnaMarie.
5/5’For Love of Anna by James Lawless is one of the finest 5 STAR pieces of writing I have read in recent years.’ Deepak Menon
Read the glowing reviews of For Love of Anna or buy the book or ebook at
Some reviews of For Love of Anna
“It is a love story crossed with a political thriller. The lovers are student Guido van Thool and ballerina Anna Zweig, She introduces him not just to love but to political activism also. The other character in the novel is a corrupt judge, Jeremiah Delahyde. When the drunken judge knocks down and kills Anna on New Year’s Eve, itseems the law cannot or will not touch him but Guido sets out to get revenge.”
from Books Ireland, May 2012.
‘For Love of Anna BY James Lawless is one of the finest 5 STAR pieces of writing I have read in recent years.’
Deepak Menon, Amazon review, May 1, 2014
“For Love of Anna is a work of art for the twenty-first century, for a world that’s almost used up. It is a book that had to be written and cries out to be read. It will jolt us out of our encrusted corporate value systems and, with its searing pathos, will change the way we perceive the universe.”
Reviews from Amazon
For Love of Anna is a literary page-turner, full of suspense and beautifully written. An original, deep and thought-provoking novel. Its resonance lingered with me long after I had finished reading it.
This was the third James Lawless book I read and the more I read, the more impressed I am with his works. He has an insight that perhaps many of us, although are subconsciously aware, do not focus on in our daily lives until a book such as this highlights them. It then becomes thought provoking and is all the better for it.
Following a recommendation to read I did hesitate before committing time to it as I am not a “romance” reader as a rule but was persuaded to do so by other factors, It ultimately became a decision I did not regret and found it hard to put down to do what I really needed to do.
The novel touches on political corruption, a subject that always strikes a chord with me and some key aspects of the judicial system that we, in the west, hold so dearly. How accurate these reflections are I am not certain but I would speculate they are possibly not too far from the truth of actual happenings at some point, only with a little added and taken away to keep on the right side of the law.
Superbly written James and very well done from me. You have not converted me in to a romantic themed novel reader but you have demonstrated that a book really should never be judged by its cover, there is more to some story lines that first meets the eye.
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read novel,2 Jan 2013
Beautifully and successfully written. “FOR THE LOVE OF ANNA is a nicely paced novel that pulls at the readers’ heartstrings.
While I do not normally read “romance” novels, I can understand why they can really be touching and thought provoking even for male readers. The novel contains both politics and romance, and is superbly put together by the author’s deft hand.
A big cheer for Mr. Lawless. Really superb writing and a novel than may convert me yet into a reader of romance, except perhaps those of Mills and Boon.
5.0 out of 5 stars For Love of Anna,17 Nov 2009
Apart from being a moving love story, For Love of Anna is a must-read book for the times we live in, with its deep questions about our capitalist norms and the ambiguous morality of some of our righteous leaders.
Review For Love Of Anna by James Lawless
The funny thing about this book is, is that I never heard about this book before until the author himself emailed me and asked me to review this book.
I do have to say, I know now why I never came across this book – it’s more of an adultsbook than a YA/sci-fi/fantasy/whatever type of book. But I’m always open to new types of books, so I was very curious to discover what this story was about.
Afterwards, I feel like it was definitely not a bad read!
The story is about Guido van Thool who meets Anna, a ballet dancer, and falls in love with her. A real romance starts which is continually tested by the forces of life. For example when Guido is been called away for military service. But they always seem to get through it. Paralleling their lives is that of the corrupt judge Jeremiah Delahyde who got his high position and the power that comes with it because of his friend the minister Bartholomew Smythe. Their lives collide on New Year’s Eve, when the drunk judge crashes into Anna with fatal consequences. And Guido swears revenge.
But how can he beat such a powerful judge?
I actually quite enjoyed this book!
I do have to say, this is not my type of book, since it includes romance and well, yeah – no. Haha. But the thing is – the book isn’t completely about the romance.
This book actually includes three strands: 1. the romance between Anna and Guido, of course, 2. the life of the corrupt judge Jeremiah Delahyde and 3. ANNA, an acronym of Anarchists of the New Age which kind of influences Guido’s thoughts, I’d say, since he discusses the society and the government a lot throughout the book and he has an anarchist friend called Philippe who keeps goading him.
I really liked seeing these three strands coming back in the story, some more than the others. It did make me wonder what the actual point was of the book – was it mainly the lovestory that counted (how crazy love can make you, for example) or was it mainly the philosophical thoughts and the growth in them that counted or was it a mixture of both?
I couldn’t really get that out of the story.
And also, I kind of felt that some parts of the story dragged on, especially after the big plot twist. The impact of the events coming after that lessened in my opinion, because it took so long to get there. With the three strands combined, I was trying to figure out what the whole point was of the book and I got quite confused when the philosophical parts lessened after the big plot twist (it was understandable why, but still) and Jeremiah’s perspective was nearly gone and I really liked his perspective, the perspective of a villian. The anarchism mentioned in the book wasn’t as important or as crucial as I hoped it would be – it wasn’t highlighted very much in my opinion, the romance seemed more important, which is not bad but I liked to see a bit more balance between the two.
BUTTTT. The story had some very great parts too.
Like I said, I really enjoyed reading Jeremiah’s perspective, especially because of the fact that it’s actually the complete opposite of Guido’s. Jeremiah is the REAL villian and o so fascinating. His evilness, his corruptness, his disgusting intelligence shines through every thought he has and every word he says and everything he does and that’s just amazing. He’s such a strong character and I think Lawless has managed to make him so realistic and evil – hands down!
Guido’s perspective was, of course, interesting too, since he’s a philosophy student and thinks a lot deeper and a lot more extensively than most others. And seeing those two perspectives on the society of Potence and the government and its power next to each other was very interesting to read. It wasn’t like you had sympathy for them both – Lawless really made sure you would hate Jeremiah and love Guido – but you got the chance to understand them, both the “hero” and the villian.
Actually, I think all of the characters were strong and vivid, but Jeremiah was just the best of them all.
Other than that, I also really enjoyed the writing style in this book. It really set the mood.
It was very formal, but I feel like THAT is what makes you want to read it. It really fits the kind of philosophical and political background the story has. Besides that Lawless has managed to really make me feel what the characters feel. For example when Guido was at Anna’s ballet performance, Lawless used such beautiful words to describe how Guido felt that I could literally feel it too. If words can do that with you, you just know it’s a good book.
And lastly I want to say that I found the relationship between Guido and Anna cute and very realistic. It’s quite shy and it develops slowly, but that kind of fits their personalities. They’re both quite shy, Anna more confident than Guido though, and I can see that the relationship reflects their shyness, their personalities as a whole in some way and I love that about their relationship.
Well, that was it for today’s blogpost! I want to thank James Lawless, the author of this book, for giving me this book to read and review and I hope you liked this review and found it a bit useful perhaps.
Until the next blogpost, then!