Annie John: A Novel

Annie John: A Novel

by Jamaica Kincaid
3.8 45

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Annie John: A Novel by Jamaica Kincaid

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."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466837782
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 06/30/1997
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 441,831
File size: 177 KB

About the Author

Jamaica Kincaid's books include At the Bottom of the River, Annie John, A Small Place, Lucy, The Autobiography of My Mother, My Brother, and, most recently, Mr. Potter. She lives in Vermont.

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Annie John 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
BookwormWithMcIntyre6th More than 1 year ago
Some parents more than others have an incredible impact on their children. In my opinion, Annie John is an example of this. Annie John is a young girl who has always had a pleasant life because of her parents. She is especially loved by her mother who she's always with and respects the most as a little girl. Around the age of twelve however, Annie is no longer just a little girl. She's becoming a woman with her own opinions and ideas about life. Living on Antigua her whole life, she only knows the island culture she was taught. So with her own ideas comes uncertainty about the only way of life Annie has ever been taught. Being only human, she has questions about life that because of her strict culture she feels can only be answered by leaving her family and Antigua. And when she finishes school, Annie chooses to do this and becomes detached from her family. I feel sort of ridiculous because I often think I can relate to characters I read about, but this really was the case with Annie John. I know what its like to grow up I guess and realize things that have always been, just gone unnoticed. This is why I sort of look up to Annie, because in the end she decided to do something about it for herself. I definitely recommend this book to others. It wasn't very difficult to read, and I think teenage girls especially would enjoy it.
JessicaWale More than 1 year ago
Annie John is a little girl who loves her parents very much. Her and her mother do everything together and Annie obeys and respects her mother always. As Annie grows up and starts school, she becomes first in her class and is liked by all her teachers and most girls wanted to be friends with her. One girl named Gwen catches her attention and they become the best of friends. Once Annie turns 12 her world changes. Her mother distances herself from Annie and Annie becomes annoyed by Gwen. Annie becomes ill and once it passes, she leaves Antigua and heads to England to be away from her family. I think this story was a easy but good read. I enjoyed the characters and Annies character made me want to continue to read and find out what happens to her. I would recommend this book for others to read.
FR-A_6th More than 1 year ago
This book was kinda boring, but it was about testing the strength of a relationship between mother and daughter. In the beginning Annie is trying to understand what "death" really meant and how it would never hapen to someone she knew. It shows how any mother and daughter go through life with their ups and downs and how they get through the "teenage" years. I am not much for books, but I really did enjoy this one.
SCARTER More than 1 year ago
Annie John was a well written book about a young girl who becomes disconnected with her parents after being sheltered by them. It seems to me that after Annie reaches a curtain stage in her life, her and her mother's relationship deteriorates. When Annie's mother tells her she is becoming a women she treats her differently and Annie begins to feel as though she is alone and without the love that she feared losing throughout her childhood. Although this book shows the disconnection of a mother daughter relationship, it also shows how close the two can be. Annie John also shows a young girl coming of age and the growth of a teenager. Being a male, I personally cannot relate to Annie John's situation but I believe I hold a good understanding. Jamaica Kincaid has done a wonderful putting the reader into the characters shoes. I would definitely recommend this to all readers, simply the story is so real. Many people around the world are able to easily relate to not only how Annie but how her mother feels as well. Also, I feel that many readers are able to be intrigued by this book because it takes place in a country other than America or England. It shows readers a different part of the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Annie john is a book that is kinda difficult to understand . Although .. she was a very strange girl who believed that only people she didnt knew only died . And how she wanted to see how dead people looked etc . She was a curios girl.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CWoods-RAL More than 1 year ago
I've never read a lesbian type book before until I read Annie John. In this story, Annie starts out as a little black girl that loves her mother dearly and wants to become just like her. Soon she is put into school and falls in love with her best friend Gwen. During school hours the girls talk about their body and reveal their body parts to each other. When her achievement in school puts her into a higher grade she looses her friendship and love with Gwen. Her mother becomes less her friend and more as her guideline mother. She has no one to turn to and she must find out who she really is. By the time she's fifteen the drought ends and is replaced by floods of rain. She soon becomes sick and is like that for 3 months, during this time she grows more and more, realizing she's grown into a woman. At sixteen she leaves her home of Antigua destined for England. On her way to the ship she looks back on the life as a child and soon she takes her place as a woman leading into a new life alone. I have to say I enjoyed this book. The beginning was more indulging than the end, because she was a young spunky girl in the beginning, then by the end of the book she became boring. Overall it is a good book and I would recommend it to any women's book club.
alaska4231 More than 1 year ago
i enjoyed this book very much it had a lot of emotion in it annie went through a lot with her mother and father they all have had a loved one die more than once in there lives and have handled it alright annie is a very brave kid saving the red girl from a fire not a lot of kids would do that she helped her parents a lot of the times to which is a great thing even though he parents were a bit controlling of her i love how she can be very independent at times also.
BrittneyRongey More than 1 year ago
Annie John was about a young girl (Annie)who had her own interest against her mothers wishes. Her mother was a very uptight clasey women who played everything by the book and was against rule breaking. Annie of course was the opposite of her mother, Annie was rebellious and broke the rules constantly. Annie's mom made her go to sunday school every sunday unless she was ill. Annie also attended a religious based school with only females. Annie made a friend named gwen who annie's mother very much so approved of but annie fell in love with the "dirty girl". Who Annie's mom did not approve of what so ever this girl played games that girls weren't suppose to play she only showered once a week she was the type of child that mothers wouldn't approve there kids to play with. I thought that this story was told pretty well, certain parts of the story were left open for your mind to decide what the story was trying to tell. Overall I liked this story I wouldn't say it was a favorite but I liked it.
KCinRALCC More than 1 year ago
I liked this book because as you read along with it you can tell that the charecter was growing as you read. One moment you're reading about when she is 5 and has a fling with another girl her age named Gwen, and their fun and journeys together. Then in another moment she is about 15 and growing apart from her mother, like almost every other teenager I know. She is also, at some point, very ill. Ill for about 3 and a half months. And in the last moment she is leaving home to go to England and become a nurse. ", but I remembered that I wasn't a child anymore, and that now when I made up my mind about somethings I had to see it through." This really spoke to me because I can see myself saying that to myself when I leave for college in 2011. This is a really good book for every age because the charecter herself is every age at some point in the book.
Jodi-Picoult-fan More than 1 year ago
This is a story about a young girl going through the stages of becoming her own person. She is attached to her mother, but has to learn to make a name for herself. She does this by rebelling against her mother and collecting marbles and stolen items, like books. I believe that this book is a good illustration of how young women learn to become adults and shows how young women go through the process of separating from their parents to pursue their own interests.
kevinjamessheehy More than 1 year ago
Annie John was a young women who lived with her mother growing up. She went everywhere her mom went; they were attached at the hip. When she turned 12, her life changed dramatically. She begins to wonder about her culteral background and ends up leaving her family. She dreads time away from her mother but she had to leave Antigua, her hometown. Annie Fulfills her journey around the world by herself.
MRLUMBERJACK2009RAL More than 1 year ago
This book was just alright for me. It was hard for me to get a clear picture of things in my head. When I read I play a little movie in my head, but with this book it was like a skipping dvd. Although, this book does illustrate a good understanding of the tensions of a mother/daughter relationship. It could represent any sort of parent/child relationship for me. I perceive Annie to be more of a white cheerleader who has everything she needs and is kind of stuck up because she knows that she is well liked and smarter than everyone. But at the same time she still would stand up for you but more for the praise and attention than for her self. In the end with her getting sick and bedridden, it is represented by the weather. But I think that if you combine her gettting sick and the weather turning bad it is symbolic of her relationship with her mother and how it went from good to bad. Also, how she is like a little kid that wets the bed and needs help eating, I think that that represents how it used to be and how everything was good for them when she was at that age before she got older.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AJB_RAL More than 1 year ago
I'm not really sure about this book. I though it was a good book but i had a hard time picturing that it was based around a colored girls life. It seemed a lot like it was more about a preppy little white girl who seemed to think she was better then everyone else. The book as a whole is ok but it just screams middle class white girl who lives in the suburbs to me...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KLB-PER6-RAL More than 1 year ago
I found this book was very interesting. It had parts that surprised me and other parts that explains a normal kid. I don't know if I would read this story over again but it wasn't a waste of my time to read it the first time. I also don't think I would recommend it to classrooms but maybe adults with strong opinions and people that want to hear a story of a different persons perspective.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought that this was a really good book. I don't like reading a lot of books but I thought that is book was a really good book. It is such a wonderful book. This story had me from the beginning just by the way it touched me. It just was completely a good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story had me at the very beginning! I liked the how the author wrote in a way that was easy to understand and had you captivated. This story was of a young girl named Annie and it told of her transforming from a young child into a woman. I was very into this book the whole time I was reading it and for me, it takes a lot to get me to sit down and finish a book. I really enjoyed it!
KLH_RAL More than 1 year ago
Overall I think Annie John is a good book. There were times throughout the book when I was waiting for something tragic or exciting to happen like most storylines. Then I realized that's not the purpose of this book. Annie John is simply a story about leaving childhood and entering adolescence. As a child, Annie's mother was her entire world, but by the end of the story she can hardly stand to be in the same room as her. Before, she had overwhelming feelings of love and adoration for her girlfriends, especially Gwen. At seventeen all she feels is embarassment for those feelings and for giving so much of herself to her former friend. This story shows that it's difficult growing up and experiencing not only physical changes, but a change in thoughts and attitudes as well.
KBM_RAL More than 1 year ago
Annie John is a novel about a young girl and what her life was like growing up. As a child Annie and her mother were very close, not just as mother and daughter, but also as close friends. They liked to dress alike, and went almost everywhere together. Once Annie began to grow into her teenage years, she noticed how her relationship with her mom had changed. Her mom was no longer her closest friend, but now someone that she could hardly stand being around. Annie started making new friends, and slowly started sneaking around to see them. She also began to play games that she was not allowed to as well as lie to her mother and steal books from her local library. When Annie moved away once becoming an adult, I believe that she was hoping for the old friendship to come back with her mom, but when they said their goodbyes they simply walked away. I think that this book was well written, and had a way to keep you interested. My only problem I had while reading through it, was that the length of each chapter was too long for me. Each chapter was at least 15 pages long and in my opinion, I prefer shorter chapters so that you can move on to other incidents throughout the book without getting bored. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars because I think the book had good context, but the outline could have been better.
RAL-SO-P2 More than 1 year ago
Annie John was a good but confusing book that tests the bounderies of mom-and daughter relationships. The subject of "DEATH" is a big part in this book. Annie is trying to understand why and what death means. I really enjoy how this book toys with the sexual orientation of Annie and what she thinks of other people. The constant strain between Annie and her mom slowly gets worse as Annie ages and matures. This is a great book for all ages and I highly recommend it to all.
XC_in_RALSS More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure what to expect how the story will be like when I was given this book to read. I can honestly say that this book is an excellent story to read. The story tells of Annie John's life as she is growing up into a teenager. Each chapter felt like a slice of her life vividly describing the details of her life. The chapter are very interesting and makes the reader think about Annie's life. I would recommend this book to read.