Annie John although a book I had to read for highschool- meaning usually something academic and boring- was a great read.. short but packed with meaning and insights on life in the era in the book. I highly recommend this as a book to read both casually or academicly as it compliments such texts as Malcolm X, The Color Purple etc but in a new refreshing way.
Annie John is a haunting and provocative story of a young girl growing up on the island of Antigua. A classic coming-of-age story in the tradition of The Catcher in the Rye and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Kincaid's novel focuses on a universal, tragic, and often comic theme: the loss of childhood. Annie's voice?urgent, demanding to be heard?is one that will not soon be forgotten by readers.
An adored only child, Annie has until recently lived an idyllic life. She is inseparable from her beautiful mother, a powerful presence, who is the very center of the little girl's existence. Loved and cherished, Annie grows and thrives within her mother's benign shadow. Looking back on her childhood, she reflects, "It was in such a paradise that I lived." When she turns twelve, however, Annie's life changes, in ways that are often mysterious to her. She begins to question the cultural assumptions of her island world; at school she instinctively rebels against authority; and most frighteningly, her mother, seeing Annie as a "young lady," ceases to be the source of unconditional adoration and takes on the new and unfamiliar guise of adversary. At the end of her school years, Annie decides to leave Antigua and her family, but not without a measure of sorrow, especially for the mother she once knew and never ceases to mourn. "For I could not be sure," she reflects, "whether for the rest of my life I would be able to tell when it was really my mother and when it was really her shadow standing between me and the rest of the world."
This was an interesting book about Annie John growing up in Antigua and the process she goes through in order to assert her independence. It was an insightful example of a young girl's relationship with her mother as she tries to break away from the nest. It's a very emotional read and the reader can feel Annie John's pain as she has these love/hate feelings for her mom. I would recommend this book as it is an easy read that does leave a lasting impact.