Yesterday I spent a pleasurable day reading Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid. Wonderful quick read, only about 148 pages and beautifully written! This book was recommended to me by a friend who told me to start with Annie John but that she prefered other titles by Kincaid instead. I also have Lucy on the TBR shelf so it will most likely be one of my 50 books of 2012.
Annie John is a coming of age story which takes place in Antigua. Annie is young when the story begins and it continues on through her adolescence. Annie and her mother have a close loving relationship that slowly but surely develops into hate and despise. What I loved about this novel were all the little stories that are recounted by Annie that illustrate what life is like on an island at this time. Colonialism and strict education are the background of this story. You practically feel the breeze and sun on your face. I can’t say any more than that because I’ll give everything away.
Elaine Potter Richardson is the real name of Jamaica Kincaid. She was born in 1949 and grew up on the island of Antigua. In 1973, her family’s disapproval of her writing led to her name change. Kincaid writes on recurring themes in her books such as Caribbean tradition, mother-daughter relationships, shaping female identity in a male dominant society, and the lack of Antiguans to fully achieve independence because of colonialism to note a few. If you’re interested here is a list of some other interesting novels by Kincaid At the Bottom of the River, My Brother, The Autobiography of My Mother, A Small Place….