Updated on August 5, 2015
44. ‘Annabelle’ by Nancy Christie
There’s something about stories featuring painters that I just love – maybe it’s the use of one form of art to express another, or the (literally) colourful language. When I was doing my MA, I even wrote one of these myself. Several months ago, Pixel Hall Press sent me another book about a painter: Annabelle by Nancy Christie is a story about a girl of the same name, whose father is a painter and whose mother is his muse. Their relationship is, unsurprisingly, intense; so much so that the daughter often feels left out in the cold.
The whole story is narrated through the framing device of Annabelle talking to a psychiatrist. She describes the relationship between her parents, her feelings of rejection as a child, and the moment when everything changed. The story’s revelations happen gradually but their consequences resonate deeply through the years, impacting Annie’s life in irreparable ways.
I really liked the writing style of this story – the language is, as you might expect, very painterly. Christie writes about the play of light and shadow, adding an extra layer of beauty to an already moving story. I would definitely recommend Annabelle: it’s very short, but it packs a big punch.
“Just once she wanted her father to look at her with the intensity he reserved for his wife – to fix her so clearly on the canvas that there was no possibility of her ceasing to exist.”
If you liked my review, why not read the book and let me know what you think?