Welcome to “I AM READING THIS SO HARD RIGHT NOW”
In this segment, I will be sharing spoiler-free notable quotables on books I am loving the hell out of. I don’t write summaries, kids. If I could hire a monkey to type out the summary, I would, but times are hard and I believe in a fair wage and I’m vegan so there’s lots of conflicts in hiring monkey-help. So, in lieu of summary writing simians, I offer you quotes. Gobble them up. They’ve got vitamins in them.
OK, let me stop being a dork. I’ll try. I finished Annabel: A Novel, by Kathleen Winter ages ago, but have been resisting talking about it because I’m so in love with it. I’m petrified that whatever I say about it just isn’t going to do it justice.
Let’s start with this: In an earlier post, I discussed my interest in reading Stonewall Book Award winners and honors. Annabel was named a Stonewall Book Awards – Barbara Gittings Literature Award Honor Book. I pretend to be super-savvy about the LGBTQ community for a variety of reasons I won’t get into, but Annabel taught me that I have so much to learn about the transgender community. It’s good to remember that you’re not as smart as you think you are. This book is special. This makes me a bad librarian, but I’m reluctant to return it to the library. I feel like I still need it around. I nearly cried through so much of it (and actually, fully cried through several sections), but I still carted it around like a security blanket. Despite all the tears, this is a book that made me happy and secure. I’d do anything to read more about the lives of Wayne/Annabel/Amble, Wayne, and Thomasina.
None of the townspeople knew the extent of Thomasina’s grieving because she did not fall apart in front of them. Nor did she fall apart alone in her house. She sat on the daybed under a small window that looked over the backyard and the inlet and stared for half an hour the morning after the drowning of Graham and Annabel, and the same that evening, and the next morning as well. She sat on the daybed because the spot was an in-between place, not a living room or kitchen where scenes of family life had played out. This was a passage in which everyone moved and was unfathomable, which was how Thomasina saw people. She was not a person who froze someone’s character in her mind, calling this one egotistical and the one not nearly confident enough and another one truthful or untruthful. To Thomasina people were rivers, always ready to move from one state of being into another. It was not fair, she felt, to treat people as if there were finished beings. Everyone was always becoming and unbecoming. It was unbearable to her that she had lost Annabel and Graham, but she had borne unbearable things, and she knew how to keep going. She had her own way of saying goodbye to her lost beloved, and she said it in private. Then she went about the business of being around for those who were living. Especially, she decided, for that little baby of Jacinta’s, Wayne, whom no one wanted to call a daughter.
~~Annabel: A Novel, by Kathleen Winter, pages 40-41
Loveliness. Doesn’t that last line give you goosebumps? Maybe it’s the location of the book, Labrador, or the author’s last name, Winter, but Annabel makes me want to hide under the covers and wear giant sweatshirts and scarves.
Many of the Stonewall Book Awards winners and honors are unfindable in my library’s system. This drives me bonkers. For this reason, I’ve started delving into last year’s winner and honors, as well. I’ll probably break down and actually (shudder) purchase some titles. Unfortunately, I’m in a funk where I’m not into reading Juv. fiction at all. I’m on an Adult and YA bender. Someone intervene. This is going to get ugly. Any recommendations to get me back on the J-Fic bandwagon?
Anyhow, read Annabel. You can thank me later.
~Love and Libraries, Ingrid