Annie John Paperback – 9 Oct 1997
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"So touching and familiar it could be happening to any of us...and that's exactly the book's strength, its wisdom, its truth" (New York Times Book Review)
"An unaffectedly sumptuous, irresistible writer...thrilling" (Susan Sontag)
"Movingly real...Its poetry is grounded in detail, in the lovingly rendered life of its adolescent heroine" (Washington Post)
"So neon-bright that the traditional story of a young girl’s passage into adolescence takes on a shimmering strangeness" (LA Times)
‘So neon-bright that the traditional story of a young girl’s passage into adolescence takes on a shimmering strangeness.’ LA TimesSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It's a nicely written book and an easy read, depicting the self-centred and often selfish innocence of youth totally realistically and yet, for me, it just wasn't that appealing a read. Annie John is not a sympathetic character and for all I felt that I was supposed to side with her in her rebelliousness, as she broke free from childhood, this often just felt like being asked to side with a spoilt child's petulance. Additionally, as a portrait of a mother-daughter relationship it is completely one-sided; we never know how her mother really feels about her. It is also somewhat strange that a novel about teenage years runs its entire course without any mention of the opposite sex: Annie's adolescence is marked only by a curiosity about her own changing physical appearance. And then there is the inexplicable weather-related illness which seems neither to forward the plot nor add to the characterisation of either Annie or her parents.
Kincaid writes beautifully about Antigua and its people and creates a very evocative picture of childhood there but for me, I just never really cared about Annie John and that's a key problem in a novel bearing her name.
Annie's ambivalence shows up in all sorts of ways: in her different ways of responding to her mother; in her friendships with the "good" Gwen and the "bad" Red Girl; in her sometimes outrageous behavior and her stellar academic performance. And the world remains even as she grows up something of a mystery to her -- her mother seems to get angriest with her for behavior that is far from her most outrageous, and it is her mother who seems to spark the separation at the time she starts calling Annie a "young lady," although it might well be that Annie is ready at that point to make an issue of something that will establish some distance.Read more ›
'I just liked to look at her mouth as it opened and closed over words, or as she laughed. How terrible it must be for all the people who had no one to love them so and no one whom they loved so, I thought.'
But as she reaches adolescence, we see her breaking away; no longer the lovely biddable daughter, Annie's thoughts centre on unsuitable friends, lying and stealing, and her feelings for her mother are more akin to hatred:
'My mother turned to face me. We looked at each other, and I could see the frightening black thing leave her to meet the frightening black thing that had left me. They met in the middle and embraced.'
Evocative; brings back memories of my teens!
A lovely, uplifting novel. A blessing. Food for the soul.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The cover was slightly worn down but not too much. Inside with some notes written on the first pages. Overall good condition.Published 20 months ago by Rita