Wednesday 25 August 2010

Book Review - Annan Water

Michael first sees Annie one morning on the banks of Annan Water, when he is out exercising two horses from his parents stables. That first impression of her never leaves him. She triggers in him a desire to get to know and understand her and in doing so, to understand himself. Complicated by the fact that he is haunted by the tune and words of a song about the Annan Water, he finds there is no easy answer to the way he must go: to get to know Annie seems as impossible as interpreting the words of the song. Michael's parents make endless demands on Michael's skill as a rider and his innate sympathy for horses. (They had become a dealer's yard, not a family'). Coupled with this he finds himself totally at odds with his companions and teachers at school. Which way should he turn, what does he really want from life, and what does the song mean.

My Review
This is quite a simple read, at only 180 pages it is quite short and only took me a couple of hours. The story is a coming of age story. young Michael can't get on with school and loves being with the horses, but is it what he wants to do with his life. His family has suffered tragedy in the past when his little sister was thrown from a horse and killed and so he feels he cannot walk out on his parents, but then he meets Annie who is unusual and striking and he can't help but want to spend time with her. Kate Thompson obviously knows a lot about keeping horses and show jumping, it is very well written and you can tell a lot of research went in. The relationships between the characters including the horses is very good and it feels like you know them. However about 20 pages from the end of the book things start to come to the climax, when Annie runs away late at night, Michael tries to get to her, but to do so he must cross the Annan river, but the current is strong and his horse can't keep up, I was disappointed with the ending as it isn't really resolved. The horse turns up drowned, but Annie and Michael are never found and you don't find out if they survived or not. To me this is really frustrating, i need closure in my books.

My Rating
I would give this 5/10, the end let it down, otherwise it would have scored much higher.

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