STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, photographer, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Rainy Day Reading...

Several short weeks ago, we were enjoying lovely warm sunny weather and we needed rain. Well it seems too many people must have been praying for rain because it's been raining for two weeks now... and we've had enough. Or at least I have had enough. Shut off the tap!! Things are lush and green (which is good) and my perennials are growing much too fast (which is not good). If this rain ever stops and the ground dries a bit, it may be too late to do any digging and dividing...
The rainy days are good for one thing at least- I have finished two good books. Today I'll tell you about Annabel by Kathleen Winter. Another debut novel (I seem to be reading a lot of those lately), this story, written with great sensitivity, is about a young person coming to terms with his identity and sexuality. Set in remote coastal Labrador in the late 60's, it is the story of a young couple whose first (and only) child is born a true hermaphrodite (born with both male and female functioning tissue). Treadway, the father, a hunter and trapper, wants the child to be raised as a male without ever being told of the circumstances of his birth. His wife, Jacinta, agrees, not wanting to go against her husband's wishes, but her choice would have been for Wayne to be raised female. The baby undergoes surgery to assign him the masculine gender, but as he matures it appears this was the wrong choice. After a medical emergency in his early teen years, he learns the truth of his birth and continues on his journey to find his true self.
I found it hard to believe this is Winter's first novel. It is well written and her characterization is so very well done. Each of the main characters are well developed.  Jacinta's loneliness, Wayne's doubts and uncertainties about himself, and Treadway's quiet ways and desire to retreat to the solace of his trapline - these all make the characters so realistic. This is not a book with a great deal of action, but it draws you in to the lives of this family and their struggles. I found it both touching and heart-breaking.

Peace,
Linda

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." ~ E.E. Cummings

6 comments:

Lavender Cottage said...

Sounds like an interesting book that deals with a subject not often touched upon.
Judith

Gwen Buchanan said...

Getting the same weather here and the same growing conditions. Ready for some sunshine. it just makes everything better!

Pamela Gordon said...

Rain rain go a way! It's trying to brighten up here then it pours again. Maybe tomorrow will be better. I've been reading too and staying off the computer. It's a nice change. :)

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I haven't been reading much, but I enjoy reading your book reviews.
Thanks for another well written review.

Anonymous said...

Linda, wasn't this a fabulous book? I read it with my Book Club, and everyone loved it. I especially liked the motif of bridges throughout the novel -- so well written. I'd read more by this author in a heartbeat! Jeanne Kaye

Wendy Ouellette said...

MMM your salad looks yummy! I read a true account of a child in Manitoba born with the same condition. Heartbreaking indeed!

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