Sunday, February 27, 2011

2011 book 58

Kathleen Winter's Annabel
After reading a bunch of silly (but fun!) urban fantasy books, I was ready for something a little more thought-provoking and literary. And this novel--which has won a bunch of awards in Canada but not gotten a ton of critical attention here--did not disappoint. When a baby is born in a small town in Canada in 1968 with the genitalia of both genders, the father decides he should be raised as a son. But his wife and her friend encourage the child's feminine side as much as they are able, even as the child doesn't know any of the truth. Of course there are complications and lots of questioning of one's identity (on the part of several of the characters). The characters are solid and the story is gripping, but the real star here is Winter's writing. She's especially good when nature is involved, though her ruminations on middle-ages housewives are also pretty spot-on. A.

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