“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.”- Goodreads
Annie John was riveting. Stunning. A page turn that grabs the reader and doesn’t let go until its over. We follow Annie John as she goes through puberty and the shift in her town of Antiqua. Most of this novel is show post-colonial. After her land has been colonized by the British. I really enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. The way Jamaica Kincaid poked fun at the after effects of colonization with brilliant characters and awesome motifs is wonderful. The story itself isn’t that hard of read with the biggest factor. The relationship between Annie John’s mom and her being the main story. The dynamics that factor into their relationship rely heavy on Annie not actually knowing herself and trying to be to much like her.
The two other characters who played a significant point for me was the Red Girl and Gwen. Both different. While the latter can be consider a symbol of assimilation. The former is what anti-assimilation. They both however, play significant roles in shaping who Annie becomes post puberty. We are constantly reminded what post-colonial looks like in this book from the teachers at her school, to way they shop, and the social restrictions placed on them. All of this becomes to much to bare for little Annie when she wishes to capsize a ship, which is a big metaphor for removing the after effects of the British empire on her land. It’s the decolonizing desire that moves Annie away from away throughout the book that makes me really enjoy it. I give this book 3 stars out of five.