Thursday, July 26, 2012

Annabel-Kathleen Winters

Annabel-Kathleen Winters

the facts
satisfaction: up
pages: 461
gender: F
nationality: Canada
year: 2011
Novel

Portrait of life in a very isolated Labrador town for an intersex youth and the people around zir.

This is a book about beauty. Inner beauty, the beauty of a hostile landscape, and the beauty of individuals. The Labrador setting is incredibly vivid-a landscape I've never read about in such a way before through the eyes of a trapper who has lived and breathed in that environment. This makes a great way to explore interconnections. The relationships between each character in the novel, the settings to the characters, and Annabel to Wayne. These relationships are complex and interwoven and not very easy to convey but Winters does a great job of involving the reader.

It's heartbreaking in many ways, this book, the landscapes and cultures each are hostile in different ways. The book ends with "It inhabits the fathers" but the book is about leaving to find one's own way. Both Wayne and his friend both needed to leave their fathers to become themselves. But most of all, it's a book about how things don't turn out like you plan or expect. His friend lost her voice and thus her dreamed of singing career. Wayne was designated a man but feels Annabel within. Treadway, his father, wanted a son to share the wilderness but ends up completely unable to understand Wayne. And so on, every character in this novel had to come to grips with unexpected change caused by their relations with others. It's about the challenge of being unique and who you are despite the human need for interdependence.

In a strange way, it's also a book about the hidden lives of women.

I greatly enjoyed this novel. There are flaws and it seemed as if it ended too early without conclusion but nevertheless I think it's fantastic.

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