Special tells the story of Annie, a mixed race woman with a learning disability, from her birth into a working class family in late 1950's Liverpool to her death fifty years later.
The novel follows Annie as she is moved from the family home to the large, prison like institution of Mandelstones, a place that becomes her world for much of the next quarter of a century. As she grows from a child to a woman, we see Annie experience adventure, abuse, friendship, love, rejection and finally, in her final years, acceptance and belonging back within the by now much changed working class community of Liverpool.
The story is seen through Annie's eyes and told with her uniquely simple yet profound voice. The novel is light and easy to read, yet explores multiple themes, including changing attitudes to race and disability, and the struggles and moral compromises that those from deprived backgrounds had and still have to make. The novel is gritty, realistic, hard-hitting, funny and thought provoking without ever being preachy.
Special is based on Anthony's more than twenty years experience of working within the field of Social Care.