Saturday, February 4, 2012

Annabel by Kathleen Winter

by:  Kathleen Winter
published by:  House of Anansi Publishing
publish date:  May 31, 2010

In 1968, into the devastating, spare atmosphere of the remote coastal town of Labrador, Canada, a child is born: a baby who appears to be neither fully boy nor fully girl, but both at once. Only three people are privy to the secret: the baby’s parents, Jacinta and Treadway, and a trusted neighbor and midwife, Thomasina. Though Treadway makes the difficult decision to raise the child as a boy named Wayne, the women continue to quietly nurture the boy’s female side. And as Wayne grows into adulthood within the hyper-masculine hunting society of his father, his shadow-self, a girl he thinks of as "Annabel," is never entirely extinguished.

This book somehow made it on my TBR list awhile back.  It's one of those books I never found at the library or bookstore so it just lingered on my TBR list unread for a long time.  Then I happened to find a copy of it when Borders was going out of business and recently the library got a copy of it on audiobook.  I ended up listening to the audiobook copy.

Annabel is one of those books that will stick with you.  Not only is there the tragic story of Wayne, but his family and the people around him.   Surprisingly, Treadway was the character that showed the most depth to me.  At first he was so distant and hard to reach and at some points even cruel, but eventually his actions were so touching.

The setting for Annabel was amazing.  I loved reading about Labrador.  It was fantastic reading about a place that actually gets cold when it was like 75 degrees in December here in Louisiana.

This book deals with weighty subject matter.  It contains adult material so it needs to be approached by mature readers.  However, it's a very memorable story and worth the read.

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