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Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid

Annie John (1985)

by Jamaica Kincaid

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917169,569 (3.54)64
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The childhood and coming of age of the title character. Poetic, its chronology a little fuzzy at the edges without being more than a little confusing. It begins full of nostalgia for the halcyon days of basking in her mother's love; then with her teenage years (and schoolgirl crushes) the relationship chafes them both and turns to constant tension. How much this is simply adolescence, how much a physical or mental or spiritual illness, is left unclear; so also unclear is how much leaving home will really resolve it. ( )
  zeborah | Jul 12, 2014 |
Annie Johns by Jamaica Kincaid effortlessly captures the rhythm and cadence of the Caribbean. As this coming-of-age story unfolds the reader is introduced to a wonderful young character who tells her story with wry humor and innocence. Her world is narrow, encasing her parents, her school chums and her dreams. This is a short book, but by the end, I felt that I knew this young person and what made her tick.

Set on the beautiful island of Antigua, Annie grows up in a close knit community that has many benefits, but to a mischievous child, can also be a little too observant. Annie’s relationship with her mother was particularly compelling as we see her go through the various love-hate feelings that young girls often feel towards their mothers.

I enjoyed this story and feel that I now have a fairly accurate picture of a Caribbean childhood, along with a closer look at the customs, style and food of this unique corner of the world. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Mar 4, 2014 |
A psychologically true portrait of a girl's aging from baby to about 18 particularly in relation to her mother. I had some difficulty totally immersing myself in Annie's world and therefore the slightly lower rating. Hard to pinpoint why. ( )
  snash | Dec 18, 2013 |

This is a beautiful book, this story of a girl growing up in Antigua. I’ve never read a clearer and more sensitive description of adolescence, and of the relationship between mother and daughter. You enter the character of Annie John absolutely, and see everything from her eyes.

( )
  astrologerjenny | Apr 24, 2013 |
Reread after several years ... maybe 10? Great, quick read. I love the way Jamaica Kincaid writes :) ( )
  purplehena | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
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For Allen, with love
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For a short while during the year I was ten, I thought only people I did not know died.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0374525102, Paperback)

Jamaica Kincaid beautifully delineates hatred and fear, because she knows they are often a step away from love and obsession. At the start of Annie John, her 10-year-old heroine is engulfed in family happiness and safety. Though Annie loves her father, she is all eyes for her mother. When she is almost 12, however, the idyll ends and she falls into deep disfavor. This inexplicable loss mars both lives, as each grows adept at public falsity and silent betrayal. The pattern is set, and extended: "And now I started a new series of betrayals of people and things I would have sworn only minutes before to die for." In front of Annie's father and the world, "We were politeness and kindness and love and laughter." Alone they are linked in loathing. Annie tries to imagine herself as someone in a book--an orphan or a girl with a wicked stepmother. The trouble is, she finds, those characters' lives always end happily. Luckily for us, though not perhaps for her alter ego, Kincaid is too truthful a writer to provide such a finale.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:29 -0400)

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The theme of lost childhood remains constant in this short fictional narrative of rebellious Annie John's coming of age on the small island of Antigua.

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