Kathleen Winter's Annabel in EYE WEEKLY

Up this month at EYE WEEKLY's Pop Fiction book club is Kathleen Winter's beautifully written novel Annabel, a tale of an intersex (formerly called hermaprodite) child born to the wilds of Labrador. Wayne (privately called Annabel by his mother and her closest friend) is brought up as a boy but struggles with the secret yearnings of his female self. 

This is a fat book but it's deliciously easy to consume and chalk full of lush description of both the emotional and physical terrain the characters traverse.

And yet...did I love it? I really like what Kyle says in his post that the correlation made between nature and the human condition is a tenuous one. Though Winter brings modern elements into the text, Annabelstill hangs on this connection. So does much CanLit and it doesn't bother me overly but Wayne's gender is really cemented in the natural world by Winter, perhaps too much?

I am so tired today I can barely think. Maybe because it just took me a week to read Galore. And I loved it. But holy hell, what a slog.

So yeah, Annabel. Frankly, I'm as confused about the book as Wayne is about his gender. Hopefully we'll both find resolution. And take a long nap while we're at it.


Amy said...

You do seem confused about the book, I'm interested to hear your thoughts when you make a decision!

Steph said...

I loved Annabel! Not to promote myself, but I did a review, and maybe that will help you sort out your feelings for it? http://www.bellasbookshelves.com/?p=2411.

Galore was a slog? Oh no! That doesn't sound great...I was thinking of buying it. Would you recommend it?

Luanne said...

Hadn't heard of Annabel, sounds interesting though....

I adored Galore! I'm glad you loved it - what made it sloggy for you?

B.Kienapple said...

Thankfully guys, the Pop Fiction crew is meeting in real time tomorrow night to hammer out our thoughts on the book. So hopefully that will grant me more clarity.

Steph, I'm going to check out your review now-thanks!

And Steph and Luanne, I say Galore is a slog because it is super dense (in terms of plot and characters) but it is a rewarding one once you get the characters straight in your head. Crummey doesn't harp on about landscape and feelings - everything cuts quick to the bone and the mini-scenes between characters (he jumps about a lot) are always either immediately funny or heartfelt. I'll be writing a more in-depth review soon. But yes, I still recommend it.


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