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A FASCINATING AND ORIGINAL STORY!
on June 29, 2014
It was March of 1968 in Labrador, when a child was born to Jacinta and Treadway Blake. Their child was born at home and it was their trusted friend, Thomasina, who delivered the baby. Treadway was not in the room. Thomasina noticed that the baby had a penis and a clitoris. This meant that the baby was neither a boy or girl, but both at once. The name for this abnormality is Hermaphrodite. Jacinta kept this a secret from her husband. Thomasina suggested that Jacinta wait a little longer to see what developed.
Treadway was a woodsman and trapper, part Inuit and Scottish. He spent a lot of time away from home. In the evenings after work, he liked to read, meditate and study. It was Jacinta who was responsible for most of the baby's upbringing. A few days after the baby was born, Treadway sensed that something was very wrong with the baby and that Jacinta was keeping a secret from him. He spoke to Jacinta and told her he knew what the secret was. She thought it would be better to leave things alone and let nature take its course. Treadway did not agree with that idea. He said the baby would be raised a boy and his name would be Wayne after his grandfather. Jacinta said she would like the baby to be seen by a doctor. So off she went with the baby to the nearest hospital by helicopter to be seen by Dr. Ho. When Dr. Ho examined the baby, he came to the conclusion that because the penis was long enough, he would be called a male. Dr. Ho prescribed medications that had to be taken for a lifetime. This was to shut off the development of Wayne's female self and encourage the development as a male. Upon Jacinta's return with the baby, she spoke to Treadway about her visit. A christening for Wayne followed at St. Mark's Anglican Church in Croydon Harbour.
Thomasina was a school teacher, married to Graham Montague. She had a curvature of the spine and did not think anyone would want to marry her, but Graham was in love with her and did. Together they had a daughter whom they named Annabel, a pretty red-haired girl. When Graham wanted to take a boat ride, it was always Annabel who guided him to the boat, because he was blind. One day, while both of them were in the boat, an animal caught Annabel's eye and she got excited and stood up to see more and the boat capsized. Both Annabel and her father drowned. Thomasina was devastated. Her losses were unbearable, but she knew the living must go on living. She decided to sell her home and travel. When she would visit Wayne, she would call him Annabel after her late daughter. When Wayne grew older, Thomasina told him the secret. On her travels she would send him postcards of different bridges especially Ponte Vecchio in Florence, where there were buildings on the bridge and shops full of gold. There were people living in the buildings right on the bridge and the lights from their windows reflected on the water. The idea that people could live on a bridge fascinated Wayne.
When Wayne was in school, his best friend was a girl named Wally Michelin. She and her parents moved into the home that Thomasina sold. Wayne was in love with her the moment he saw her. When Wayne told her about the postcards he received from Thomasina and the bridges, they decided to build a little house for themselves on a bridge. Even Treadway helped them, but when he saw that they were spending too much time together, he destroyed what they had built and decided to end their relationship. In its place, when he saw that Wayne was very sad, he gave him a puppy. Wayne didn't want the puppy and so his father gave the puppy away.
As Wayne grew older, he was invited to his school prom by Gracie. Gracie became his friend, but he never forgot Wallie. His body was changing and one day, an unbelievable problem arose. How did he deal with it?
After a time, Wayne decided to leave home and moved to St. John's, Newfoundland, where his mother was originally from. Did he do the right thing by moving? What happened to his family and friends after he left? Was he/she able to cope with life as an Hermaphrodite?
Annabel is a debut novel for Kathleen Winter. It is written with such grace and sensitivity. The writing on this deep subject is extraordinary. This book has been critically acclaimed and an International Bestseller several times over.