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Melissa McDonald LBSC 646 – Core Book Response Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

The major theme in this book was misconceptions about young love, specifically young lesbian love and about the pure happiness true love brings to the two people involved. Important quotes relating to the theme: “What? Annie Kenyon’s what?” I wanted to say fascinating, because that’s really what I was thinking, but I was too embarrassed. Instead, I said “Interesting,” but then that sounded flat, and I knew Annie couldn’t see my face clearly in the twilight anyway, so I added “Fascinating” after all. I thought magical, too, but I didn’t say that, even though just sitting there in the growing darkness with Annie was so special and so unlike anything that had ever happened to me before that magical seemed like a good word for it and for her. (76) “Is the silly grin on my face,” I asked her, “as silly as the grin on your face?” (111) “There’s no need for us to pretend to be other people any more, ever again, is there, Liza?” Annie said softly. My eyes stung suddenly, and Annie touched the bottom lids with her finger, asking, “Why tears?” I kissed her finger. “Because I’m happy,” I said. “Because your saying that right now makes me happier than almost anything else could. No—there’s no need to pretend.” (159)

These are good examples of the happiness found with young love, because it does not matter if the lovers speaking were heterosexual or homosexual – true love transcends gender issues. The protagonist is Liza Winthrop, a seventeen-year-old Senior at Foster Academy. The antagonist is society, but specifically Mrs. Poindexter, the overbearing headmistress of Foster Academy. The main conflict was Liza and Annie coming to terms with, and outwardly acknowledging, their love for each other as young adults, while facing the wrath of ignorant people. The main conflict is solved when the Board of Trustees agrees that Mrs. Poindexter has overstepped her boundaries as headmistress one too many times and is fired, and Liza is not punished for her relationship with Annie.

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Melissa McDonald – Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden


As I read this book I felt a wide variety of emotions. I remember my first love, and how our parent’s thought that our heterosexual relationship was often too exclusive, and they worried we were getting too serious. I remember one very embarrassing conversation with my mom after she had found a note from my best girl friend about an incident with my boyfriend. Mom thought we had gone all the way, but I had to explain, red-faced, that we had not gone that far….only experimented with heavy petting!! I also remember thinking about a friend’s daughter who decided she was a lesbian. My friend said at least she didn’t have to worry about the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy!

What issues presented themselves that relate to young adults—I think any of the issues in the book relate to young adults, from adults not letting adolescents make their own decisions, from misconceptions and accusations by those adults, by young love and its “awesomeness” and peer pressure and alienation when you don’t follow the same path as everyone else.

Personal connections that I can talk about are that good friends of mine are lesbians. They have been married for 11 years, and actually share the same anniversary as my husband and I. Their openmindedness and understanding and support of each other’s strengths and weaknesses help them have a strong, long-lasting relationship. The lack of these qualities in our 23 year relationship caused our marriage to fail.

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Melissa McDonald – Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

Annie On My Mind Reflection  

Annie On My Mind Reflection

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