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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Book Review # 5: Annabel by Kathleen Winters

Book Review # 5 in 2011.

Goal to read 100 books in 2011.

Book: Annabel by Kathleen Winters

Brief summary of the book:

Jacinta gives birth to a hermaphrodite in 1968 in Labrador, Canada.

His father Treadway makes the decision to name him “Wayne” and raise him as a boy. Treadway struggles to get Wayne to “act like a boy” during his youth.

The only other person who knows is Thomasina who was there at the birth. Thomasina had lost her husband and daughter Annabel who had both drowned while out hunting.
Thomasina secretly calls Wayne, “Annabel” when he is young.

The novel covers Wayne’s life from a boy (with a hidden girl inside of him) until he goes to college. Growing up in a rural place like Labrador in the 70s-80s is tough for a person like Wayne. He has a childhood friend, Wally (female) who he loves.

Tomasina is the one person who always accepted Wayne for who he/ she is. She traveled the world to cope with the loss of her husband and daughter. She kept in touch with Wayne by sending him postcards and letters from around the world. She also earns a degree in teaching. She returns to Labrador and teaches Wayne (7th or 8th grade).

Wayne leaves Labrador as a young adult and explores life as a woman. He stops taking hormones and other medications that he had been taking since his youth.

I find it difficult to explain the book. I enjoyed the characters: Wayne/ Annabel, Thomasina, and his friend Wally.

These characters had dealt with difficulties. Wayne had a secret identity. Thomasina had lost her family. Wally always wanted to be a singer and a girl in middle school had thrown/ shattered glass, which caused Wally to lose her voice. Yet, all three of these characters moved on in life.
Wayne’s father even grew and changed to accept Wayne for who he/ she was as a person. Treadway does something near the end of the book that you’d like to discover for yourself.
I won’t tell anything else about the story as I don’t want to give away any spoilers.

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