Annie On My Mind

Garden, N. (1982). Annie on my mind. Canada: HarperCollins Cantada Ltd.

Nancy Garden tells a story of a blossoming love between two girls through the eyes of Eliza, or Liza, a girl who is in her senior year. She meets Annie at the library and later develops a relationship with her that blossoms into love, and they become lovers.  Liza and Annie both come from loving families, but know that this is not a relationship they can express publicly.  When Liza offers to house sit for her teachers, she and Annie explore their love for each other, but are found out when Liza's teachers return and find them, a neighbor, and another follow student at the door.  This puts a strain in their relationship because Liza and Annie are forced to part ways despite their feelings for each other. The girls still think about each other and are granted an opportunity to rekindle their relationship during winter break, which is Liza's first semester at college.

This story of loves transpires in a much more different way than it would today.  I feel that if Nancy Garden would've written this novel in present times, the controversy surrounding Eliza and Annie would be more violent, and they may or may not have reunited. Although the girls may or may not have found support in modern day, I feel the story would be told differently.  However, I do believe that Garden's style tells the story in a way that helps anyone struggling with how society sees a lesbian or homosexual relationship.  This story is full of love and insight as to the beauty and anxiety anyone can feel when discovering this sensitive part of oneself.

Nancy Garden, also a lesbian, was an avid defender of intellectual freedom who lived her youth in the 1950s. She saw the need for a story like this as she wished there would have been a book for her to identify with during a time when book topics didn't include anything outside of the idealistic American family.

Nancy Garden also wrote Molly's Family, which is about a little girl who has two mothers.  The book is written for younger children - Pre K to first grade.

Requirement: Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden
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