Annie’s We Are Going Home recounts the author’s childhood in Samoa. Part autobiography, part journal, the book’s first half is generally a stream of consciousness in which everyday activities, like a birthday party, can merge into a mention of a vision or a paranormal encounter. Bible quotations and short journal entries comprise the work’s latter part.
Annie describes a traumatic childhood. She never seems to have a permanent home and describes staying with her grandparents, an uncle and aunt, and her mother and stepfather. Her stepfather appears to have abused her, although references to these experiences are cryptic and readers must piece together several allusions to glean her meaning: “The night before the celebration, I was trying my best to protect myself from the evil”; “Every time I see my step-father [sic] makes me sick, heart broken [sic], and scared.”
Annie felt safest with her grandparents, and it’s clear she savored their lives together. “Living our life back in the days with no silverware was a happy life. When we cook food we dig the ground and it [sic] that hole we dig, we make our food in there.”
She only describes one vision/encounter (of a “short man wearing a black suit with one light on his forehead”), though she mentions others. While these aren’t explained, it seems she saw God when she was six, 16 and 26, and that her visions helped affirm her faith. Annie quotes Bible passages to show what she relies on for support.
Although Annie has a sincere voice and an important story, the book has many problems. At 80 pages, it offers a slim narrative that would need to be expanded for complete understanding. Also, the text has copious grammar and copyediting errors, and many awkward sentences that make reading challenging: “He throws sand at me and I did the same thing by throwing him back with sands.”
In sum, while the story holds promise, it requires revision to attract a general readership.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.