annabel by kathleen winter

“you don’t believe in heaven ‘cuz we’re living in hell”

“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 they were finished beings. Everyone was always becoming and unbecoming.” (41)

this one was recommended to me by someone i no longer speak to. it was also chosen by the ontario librarian’s association a few years ago as a book that we should read. indeed, its subject matter is tragic and lends itself to possible exploitation, but it’s easy to be sensationalist-harder to find another way. it’s delicate already, but complicated infinitely by association with a child’s psyche, and somehow the coldness of labrador as setting provides comfort through it all.

“Why did people not realize children could withstand the truth? Why did adults insist on filling children with the deceptions their own parents had laid on them, when surely they remembered how it had felt to lie in bed and cry over fears no one had bothered to help you face.” (199)

“A lot of Labrador was like that. Dull and frozen and in the dark one minute; bursting with sour and sweet and red and green when you did something with it. Labrador was a place where the human touch meant everything.” (122)

just hold on, we’re going home


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