Jeanette’s birth mother, Ann was just sixteen and working in a factory when she got pregnant. After six months of raising Jeanette in a home for mothers and babies, Ann chose to give Jeanette up for adoption. One of ten children, Ann and her large family embrace Jeanette once she finds them again—Ann tells Jeanette that she was “always wanted,” confirming what Ria told Jeanette months earlier. Ann is warm, welcoming, and funny, and both interested in and sorry for Jeanette’s difficult childhood and adolescence. In the book’s coda, Jeanette describes her burgeoning relationship with Ann—the two of them are similar in some ways but very different in others, and though Jeanette thinks that Ann “would like [Jeanette] to let [her] be [her] mother,” Jeanette is “wary” of believing she has lucked into an “instant family.” Jeanette, at the book’s end, does not know exactly how she feels about Ann, and has “no idea what happens next.”
Ann S. Quotes in Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
The Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? quotes below are all either spoken by Ann S. or refer to Ann S.. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Grove Press edition of Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? published in 2012.).
I am interested in nature/nurture. I notice that I hate Ann criticizing Mrs. Winterson. She was a monster but she was my monster.
Related Characters: Ann S.
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Explanation and Analysis:
Ann S. Character Timeline in Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
The timeline below shows where the character Ann S. appears in Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 13: This Appointment Takes Place In The Past
...arrives several days later with a baby photo of Jeanette enclosed. The letter explains that Ann was sixteen when she got pregnant, looked after Jeanette for six weeks after her birth,... (full context)
Chapter 14: Strange Meeting
Chapter 15: The Wound
...[and] Forgiveness.” She believes that forgiveness “redeems the past [and] unblocks the future,” and forgives Ann for throwing her from the wreckage of her own life into another unknowable, unforeseeable kind... (full context)