“Annabel” by Kathleen Winter- Book Review

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I liked this book since the moment I started reading it. Number 1 the story grabbed me, Wayne, the main character grabbed me and number 2 I always like when a well written book has a Maritime setting, and I can recognize and understand places and things. it is like a treasure hunt, “oh! I have been there, I know that place.”

Annabel is the story of Wayne, a baby born in rural Labrador, who has both female and male parts, a hermaphrodite.  This is an unusual condition anywhere, but especially crippling emotionally in a small town. I always was dripping with loneliness for Wayne. He is an only child and both of his parents are distant in some way. He does not have any friends, except one girl, briefly, Wally and he certainly does not know who he is. The book is about longing, longing to know who you are, where you fit in the world. The entire time I was reading I wanted to hold Wayne and tell him it was going to be okay. And it is okay, by the end but it certainly was a struggle to get there.

I liked the book a lot, I thought the ending was a bit abrupt and very unsatisfying, but I guess not everything always wraps up nicely. Maybe I just wanted more of Wayne. Maybe I want to know that he is okay.

I think Winter’s writing if very lyrical and beautiful and that her characters are very raw and stick with you. I really liked the character of the father, Treadway, the rough Labrador man, kind but aloof, comfortable in the bush and not around others. I wanted to thank him at the end of the book for being there for Wayne, and loving him just as he as.

4/5 Stars ****

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