Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £16.99

Buy Now for £16.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Jamaica Kincaid presents a haunting and provocative story of a young girl growing up on the island of Antigua.

An adored only child, Annie has until recently lived an idyllic life. She is inseparable from her beautiful mother, a powerful presence at the very center of the little girl's existence. Loved and cherished, Annie grows and thrives within her mother's benign shadow. Looking back on her childhood, she reflects, "It was in such a paradise that I lived".

When she turns 12, however, Annie's life changes in ways that are often mysterious to her. She begins to question the cultural assumptions of her island world; at school she instinctively rebels against authority; and, most frighteningly, her mother, seeing Annie as a "young lady", ceases to be the source of unconditional adoration and takes on the new and unfamiliar guise of adversary.

At the end of her school years, Annie decides to leave Antigua and her family but not without a measure of sorrow, especially for the mother she once knew and never ceases to mourn. "For I could not be sure," she reflects, "whether for the rest of my life I would be able to tell when it was really my mother and when it was really her shadow standing between me and the rest of the world."

A classic coming-of-age story in the tradition of The Catcher in the Rye and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Annie John focuses on a universal, tragic, and often comic theme: the loss of childhood. Annie's voice - urgent, demanding to be heard - is one that will not soon be forgotten.

©1997 Jamaica Kincaid (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Annie John

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

narrator accent is so bad

I struggled and couldn't finish this book as the accent used by the narrator was so bad. Not a Caribbean accent I have heard at all and often sounded like it was veering into a rural British county one.

A shame as the author tends to write really good stories .

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Lucy v Annie John

Lucy was my first introduction to Ms Kincaid's work, followed by Annie John, in which I found too many similarities with Lucy. More than once, I had to double check that I hadn't mistakenly pressed play on Lucy, instead of Annie John (audible) I find it disappointing that an intellectual should have this lazy approach to storytelling... I shan't continue listening to Annie John, nor will I risk reading any of Ms Kincaid's other writings.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kelly
  • Kelly
  • 21-10-18

Sweet, Simple & Enjoyable.

Part memoir, part novel, Jamaica Kincaid's coming of age story is sweet, simple and entertaining. I listened to the audio version and am so glad that I did as the voice of the narrator felt authentic and real. I could imagine the sassy, funny girl that was telling her story to me. It felt like we were sitting down to coffee and she was telling mer her tale. It felt like a long and wonderful afternoon sitting and being enchanted by her. I enjoyed this one a lot.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-09-20

Ending

A Happy - Sad ending. Short but POWERFUL story. MUST read to the end. GREAT addition to your library. Worthy of a second read. LOVED IT!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for AlexisR
  • AlexisR
  • 21-03-17

Love love love

This reminds of my childhood, growing up in Jamaica brings back so many memories good and bad😌

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Stacey Lind
  • Stacey Lind
  • 25-12-21

Exquisite performance of a heartfelt memoir

Robin Miles is fantastic as young Annie John in this vivid coming of age story about the joys and perils of being a girl and becoming a woman. I laughed, I cried, and I saw myself in this honest and brilliantly observed story, even though my own childhood experience was vastly different. Stunning performance. Fantastic book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for CJB
  • CJB
  • 10-12-21

Delightful!

I truly enjoyed this book and plan to look for other books by this author. This was quite a nice switch from the type of books I normally read. Well done! I can not say enough about the narrator. I have listened to many books now with her as a narrator. Fantastic!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for S. Donaldson
  • S. Donaldson
  • 13-11-21

Bleh…

Not a fan at all! Couldn’t make myself like any of the characters except maybe the father, who didn’t have a big part. Annie was as unloveable as they come and the whole story was depressing as hell! Just left me feeling nothing for any of it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Leslie Green
  • Leslie Green
  • 15-10-21

Took Me 2 My 4Ever Home Antigua

Familiar references, ph ases, places and even gestures gave me such a warm feeling in mi belly! Superior writing matched with captivating storytelling by the narrator. Bravo. Bravo!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Angi K
  • Angi K
  • 25-09-21

The mind of a child

We're accustomed to certain stories of childhood... The child survives neglect, injustice or a tragic separation... The child uncovers "his own truth" after being duped or scorned bc of a crippling shyness or maybe a peculiar obsession w plants or poetry or stray dogs...

Annie John is NOT that story. While Annie is clever, it isn't an unfathomable intelligence. There is no rare, budding natural talent spied by a kind stranger or shepherded by a teacher's heroics... No nurturing oddball friendships with misunderstood, grouchy shopkeepers...

YET, Kincaid allows us to witness Annie John's intelligence without exposing some epic intellect. We are not comforted by wise-beyond-years insights or recollections of a cherished granny... She is a CHILD! With a child's understanding, limited perspective & regrettable tomfoolery...

Kincaid makes us squirm w Annie's child-ness, striking a chord we of the lesser-storied ways of childhood: impudence, selfishness, ingratitude. We confront uncharitable thoughts & deeds we may not find cause to pity, but we understand as real child life--some maybe even a wee bit familiar.

Kincaid allows us in on Annie John's actions, assessments & reasoning while we catch a glimpse of a childhood unfolding in a world full of love, beauty & humor. Kincaid engages beliefs, norms likely unfamiliar to newcomers, revealing a world of complex histories, shifting traditions. A world peopled by odd & lovely/unlovely characters.

Annie John may never become the readers' role model or admired heroine, but through her eyes we get to see and understand a real world that thrives beyond her vision.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for SHARON
  • SHARON
  • 17-07-21

Wonderfully done

Love it - a developmental account of one girls story of coming of age. I loved the inclusion of the psychological journey. It was gripping, insightful and wonderfully done performance and storyline.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for all our stories
  • all our stories
  • 21-06-21

Beautiful narration

I enjoyed the telling of this story, listening to the melodious voice of the narrator. I struggled to understand Annie’s behaviors and emotions until the end of the story. I’m a big fan of this writer and look forward to reading her next book.