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- Anna In-Between | Elizabeth NunezAkashic Books
- Anna In-Between: A Woman's Journey
This book explores familiar themes, such as the relationship between a mother and a daughter and returning home. But it also uses the backdrop of Trinidad from colonial times forward to explain the tensions that existed in this family. You have to come to terms with the fact that the culture and way of doing things is quite different from one country to the other. Nunez wove a story that really captured Trinidad cultural contradictions and the love that Trinidadians at home have for their country.
Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Nov 12, Chrissie rated it really liked it Shelves: usa , relationships , medical , immigrants , love , read , trinidad-tobago , race , audible , caribbean. Having just begun: Well, I can say one thing - I was about to dump this because it so pulled me apart.
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I felt I couldn't stand being so emotionally torn. Then it flipped and had me smiling and laughing. So of course I continue. This is what I want from a book.
I want to feel and I want to think and I want to be happy and sad. OK, now I have probably jinxed the book by saying I like it a lot S Having just begun: Well, I can say one thing - I was about to dump this because it so pulled me apart. I am not going to say. So what happens in this novel? A black woman just shy of 40 years returns to her homeland to discover that her mother has breast cancer.
There is a lot to think about - relationships between daughter and mother and father and between spouses, adultery, race, colonialism and culture or what makes you drawn to a particular place. What makes a place feel safe? What makes home home? And of course illness and mortality. The book provides food for thought. The reason why I liked the book so much was that the issues delved into were portrayed both realistically and with feeling. How is it that mothers and daughters constantly bicker and taunt and compete and challenge each other?
Anna In-Between | Elizabeth NunezAkashic Books
Yet there is love too. Look what husbands and wives do to each other. The dialogs felt genuine. How is the line drawn between modesty, privacy and intimacy? Between independence, self-sufficiency and helping someone. The book is all about how we relate to other human beings, as part of a family, part of a community, as an immigrant in a new country or as an employer to an employee, across race, class and geographical boundaries.
I believe the book is set in Trinidad, although this is not stated. This is where the author is from and as the island is described it just had to be this Caribbean island, oil in the south and mountains in the north.
Anna In-Between: A Woman's Journey
Beautiful lines that capture emotions, behavior and scenery. Plants and colors and night skies and food and clothing. The lines read as prose poetry. And as I mentioned, great dialogs. The author narrates her own book. Her tongue is from the island, and I liked this. She did pronounce the "th" sound, because Anna could do this. She is the main character, the Acquisition Editor at a publishing house in New York, a publishing house promoting people of color. That the word "her" is softened into "hur" simply adds a touch of authenticity to the story.
You feel like you are on the island. Yes, very good narration and nice and slow. You can listen and think. I recommend this book for its writing, for its character portrayal and for how it draws you in letting you think about what Anna is thinking about. Anna, where do you belong? View all 7 comments.
Sep 24, Rashida rated it really liked it Shelves: herstory. A truly beautiful novel. It seems as though nothing much happens in or so pages, but a tremendous amount does transpire. Without ostentation or whiz-bang melodrama, we witness the inner workings of tremendously realized and authentic characters. When I say authentic, I mean that I could imagine each of these folks being someone in my office or the coffee shop next door. And in getting to know these characters, A truly beautiful novel. And in getting to know these characters, there are thoughts and ideas expounded that go so much further than the relationship between one mother and daughter.
Everything from colonial legacies, the impact of slavery, intra- and inter- race relations in the US, and some critical insight into the publishing industry's view of writers and communities of color gets dragged into the light here. Nunez has done a fine job, and I would recommend this book highly. View all 6 comments. Nov 19, Saajid Hosein rated it really liked it. This is a wonderful novel. Each character is fully realized and each one is very believable.
There are so many layers to it. It delves into deep relationships, racism, economic differences in cultures, downsides for those who immigrate to another country. Nunez gives the reader a real feel for issues and does not leave you hanging. It took me a couple of weeks to read the book because I wanted to savor it. I would intentionally put the book aside and ponder the concepts. I did not rate it five b This is a wonderful novel. I did not rate it five because the end fell a little short to me. Well worth the read. Jul 25, M R rated it liked it. Although I am not an immigrant or emigrant I thought this was a book that told the story of being "in-between" well.
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This story does a great job of showing the ways in which we can belong to two worlds or more and not feel totally comfortable in either of those worlds - which sometimes is by our own doing and sometimes is caused by the real limitations of the other world. As we learn of Anna's story and what has caused her to not feel at home we can understand why she has left this world for Although I am not an immigrant or emigrant I thought this was a book that told the story of being "in-between" well.
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As we learn of Anna's story and what has caused her to not feel at home we can understand why she has left this world for another, even though the new world isn't a perfect fit either. This was also a love story, both familial and romantic as we see Anna interact with her parents and her parents interact with each other. I liked that the author infused lots of history about the West Indies into the novel - I learned a lot about how the land was used and the colonial forces that shaped the islands.
However, I do think that there was a lot more telling than showing and that took away some of the impact. Also, I wanted more and more sooner regarding why Anna felt so uncomfortable with her mother. There was some explanation towards the very end of the book, but that explanation didn't seem enough for all the anger that was directed toward her mother. To me, that seemed a bit odd, since if she was such a terrible mother why even deal with her at all?
Especially since in so many other ways Anna seems like this serious, take no-BS person. Additionally, I think the bit in the book about the author on this small imprint is of no consequence to the story since it doesn't really add anything and doesn't propel the story one way or another. We could've done with just knowing that she was an editor since her mother being an "editor" was shoehorned in.
Also, for the book to be so long I thought we would've gotten to the root of the issues sooner with more focus how how they repair and grow their relationship - there seemed so many obvious clues of when that could happen, but the book gives us none of that. Nonetheless, I think that the story is interesting and reminds us that everyone has a past, that shapes everything we say and do, and how they appear now is not always who they were - good, bad or indifferent. Feb 07, Apphia Barton rated it liked it.
Not much has changed in my country since then; I see the similarities between the past Trinidad Nunez describes and the current. We welcome the voice of the infinitely wise narrator, Anna, who is an expert witness to the seismic changes that take place within and without. A wonderful read. In spare prose, with laserlike attention to every word and the juxtaposition of words to each other, Nunez returns to her themes of emotional alienation, within the context of class and color discrimination, so richly developed in her earlier novels. While on vacation in the island home of her birth she discovers that her mother, Beatrice, has breast cancer.
Beatrice categorically rejects all efforts to persuade her to go to the US for treatment, even though it is, perhaps, her only chance of survival. In a convergence of craftsmanship, unflinching honesty, and the ability to universalize the lives of her characters, Nunez tells a story that explores our longing for belonging to a community, the age-old love-repulsion relationship between mother and daughter, the Freudian overtones in the love between daughter and father, and the mutual respect that is essential for a successful marriage.
One of the crowning achievements of this novel is that it shines a harsh light on the ambiguous situation of this ruling-class family who rose from the constraints of colonialism to employ their own servants.