Annabelle by Nancy Christie

Book Review:

Perceptions and beliefs from childhood often cloud our lives in the present, even long after the unreasonable should have passed. Such is the life of Annabelle in the present: clinging to the feelings slights and misguided beliefs instilled in her as a young child, and unable to move forward with her life as an adult.

Product of a selfish father and a wholly dependent mother, Annabelle was instilled with the belief that nothing mattered BUT her father’s art, his moods and his whims. To that end, her mother often ignored or excluded her: serving only the needs, whims and wishes of her husband. Cold and unfeeling, his only focus is for his art: how it will look, feel or appear on the canvas, even if he has no intention of parting with his work.

Annabelle is caught in those memories, and holding on to childish beliefs from promises made years before: that you are only the canvas, and someone or something else will bring color and vivacity to your life. With the death of her mother, and her father’s abandonment to lose himself in his art: she never did achieve that moment of feeling wanted and loved or belonging in her life.

Whether this could serve as a cautionary tale is entirely up to the reader. Gripping in the intensity, with pain literally dripping from the pages, Annabelle is also wholly immature in the telling: needing the strong dose of medicine provided by her therapist who tells her to keep the dreams – but live in the reality. Whether or not she is capable of doing that, or even existing without a purpose, is unclear: most of all to herself.

Beautifully written with a sense of exclusion and focus in the description of the relationship that existed between her parents, there are oblique references to the sexuality and eroticism of the connection without truly delving into the deeper issue of a child looking in on a situation she is far too young to understand or process. Christie has managed to open a window into a tortured soul with her story, one that is not soon forgotten.

Annabelle by Nancy Christie

Title: Annabelle
Author: Nancy Christie
Genre: Literary Fiction
Published by: Pixel Hall Press
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher
Pages: 28
Rated: four-stars
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We all have our fantasies—our hopes and dreams of what we want our future to be. But what happens when our fantasies are based on an erroneous interpretation of past events, when our hopes and dreams are so far from reality that they prevent us from having any kind of a normal life? A lonely young woman, all Annabelle wants is to love and be loved. But the twin emotions of fear and guilt, from a passion born on a summer day so many years ago, hold her fast.

Annabelle is a short story, and is available in all eBook formats.

The cover painting is by Mark Webber

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Nancy Christie

Nancy Christie’s essays and fiction can be found on the pages of magazines as diverse as Full of Crow, Fiction365, Red Fez, Wanderings, The Chaffin Journal, Woman's Day, Experience Life, Tai Chi, Writer's Digest and Xtreme. Christie’s book, The Gifts of Change (Beyond Words/Atria), explores ways to make the most out of life’s challenges. She is currently working on several book projects: a novel, a short story collection and a book for writers.

A member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Christie writes articles for print and online publications as well as handles copywriting for corporations and marketing/advertising firms. She also teaches writing workshops at writing conferences and schools across the country and hosts the monthly Monday Night Writers group in Canfield, Ohio