Posted by Justine Solomons on 21 October 2011, in Recommendations
Annabel - Kathleen Winter
I rushed home to read this book, it's that good. Set in a remote village in Labrador Canada a child is born with both male and female parts, and only one close friend knows the secret. The father decides to raise the child as a boy and call him Wayne (adding insult to injury!). But on the same day of the child's birth the confident loses her blind husband and only daughter, Annabel, in a boating accident. Wayne has his female parts sealed up, and the close friend continues to be present in Wayne's life as his teacher and calling him Annabel in private.
As a woman reading this book my body literally ached in sympathy as he started to experience puberty and the pains that go with it. Because Wayne's femininity is shut off and kept a secret from him and everyone else for most of the book, his female yearnings, such as the desire to add curtains to his hide out or dress in beautiful swimming costumes, are even more poignant. Wayne has not only to navigate his hormones and strange body but also the attitudes of a tiny village with it's frozen landscape and frozen minds. An excellent book, one that describes the female condition better than a simple single sex viewpoint could ever do. Thoroughly recommended.
To buy this book click on the following link: Annabel
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