In 1968, into the beautiful, spare environment of remote coastal Labrador, a mysterious child is born: a baby who appears to be neither fully boy nor girl, but both at once. Only three people are privy to the secret -- the baby's parents, Jacinta and Treadway, and a trusted neighbour, Thomasina. Together the adults make a difficult decision: to raise the child as a boy named Wayne. But as Wayne grows to adulthood within the hyper-masculine hunting culture of his father, his shadow-self -- a girl he thinks of as Annabel -- is never entirely extinguished, and indeed is secretly nurtured by the women in his life. Haunting, sweeping in scope, and stylistically reminiscent of Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex, Annabel is a compelling debut novel about one person's struggle to discover the truth in a culture that shuns contradiction.
One of the biggest dichotomies in western society (and probably most societies) is the male-female one, and it's hard to wrap your mind around someone being both. We barely have the language for it. I think that's a kind of difference that's going to take a long time for us to accept and not treat as weird or abnormal so I'm glad someone seems to have written a good book about it. :-)