ANNIE ON MY MIND by Nancy Garden


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Talk about meeting cute! Liza first comes across Annie singing in a window at the Metropolitan Museum's American Wing. ""I was pretending that I was a Colonial girl who missed England,"" Annie explains. Then in the Hall of Armor Annie prances as if on horseback ("'Oh—look!' she exclaimed. . . . 'Oh—they're wonderful!'"), and soon "we were both hopping in and out of the procession of knights, laying about with our imaginary swords and shouting chivalrous insults at each other." The two girls fall in love, and though Liza holds back for a while, eventually become lovers. Meanwhile back at Liza's stuffy private school in Brooklyn Heights, where she is student council president, she has a silly run-in with the overstrict headmistress for failing to report another girl's ear-piercing session. These two worlds come together when a pair of women teachers go off on vacation, Liza is hired to feed their cats, she and Annie take to hanging out at their house, and another teacher finds them together there, "practically in flagrante delicto." She also finds the double bed and shelf of books, evidence that the two teachers are lesbians as well. There's a trial at school, and though the board eventually declares Liza's behavior her own business, the two teachers are dismissed. Liza, who has half-lied to her parents about the affair, broods for months as a freshman at MIT, but finally accepts her love for Annie and plans a Christmas-vacation reunion. It's a soupy romance, with corny encounters and less-than-subtle characterization of all concerned. As a YA problem novel (the problem being social attitudes, not the relationship), it's par for the times, an ideological step beyond those reassurances that one such experience doesn't seal your destiny. The old bats at school, stereotypes that they are, at least provide some action.

Pub Date: July 26th, 1982
ISBN: 0374400113
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux