Annie Crow Knoll: Sunrise by Gail Priest, admittedly is in a genre I rarely find myself reading, but has now got me thinking that’s an oversight if the stories are as warm, pleasant, and sentimental as this.
Starting in the summer of 1955, we take a meandering trip through life with Annie “Crow” Atkinson as she grows up on the knoll – an out-of-the-way place run by her parents where they lease cottages by the Chesapeake Bay during the warmer months of the year.
This book threw me early on with a character named “Big Black Bo”, and it took me a moment to remember this book was set in the 50s with all of its attendant problems. There are portions of this book that deal with racist attitudes of people, and I think the author handled them well. It would have been disingenuous of the times to leave them out.
As Annie Crow grows and inherits the Knoll, her indomitable spirit spurs her on through the years as she settles down and has a family. I found that even though I understood her motivations for some of the choices she made, I still felt like I wanted to yell at her to point out the obvious path she was seemingly blind to.
Gail Priest did a marvellous job of making the Knoll seem somehow familiar even though it’s somewhere I’ve never been. The cottages, the outlooks, just the people and friendships, in general, had me longing to visit and say hello.
Narration by Regan Brown suited the story and the character of Annie Crow well. There were plenty of different voices, but Regan didn’t fall into the trap that narrators sometimes fall into by trying to make them (well, the male ones) sound overly masculine and in the effort, just making them comical. Instead, just by lowering her voice an octave or two, she gave each of the characters a distinct voice while not pulling me out of the story.
All up, a charming story that I’m very glad I had the chance to experience.
I was given this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. I have not let this gift affect nor influence my opinions of this audiobook and have left an honest review.