Congratulations to Tea Obreht on winning the Orange Prize, and many thanks to friends and well-wishers - London gives a great party, which I managed to get to late, after almost being swallowed for the evening by the Golden Gallery and the Whispering Gallery at St. Paul's Cathedral. There's a sign partway up the 500 or so steps warning that once you pass a certain point there is no turning back as the stairs become too narrow. What the sign doesn't say is that beyond this point of no return the steps become a vertiginous open spiral, or that they eventually come minus a handrail, and that it would be good if you had a few prayers up your sleeve if you wanted to get out of it any time soon.
I will admit that 'The Tiger's Wife' was my favourite but 'Annabel' was my second choice.
I was part of an 2011 Orange Prize Shadowing Group organised by Warwickshire libraries that had 16 readers from all over the county reading the six short-listed books in the same time period the judges did.
We met last Tuesday evening to debate and choose our winner. Certainly a lot of positive things said about 'Annabel' around the table.
Have you encountered Ali Shaw's 'The Girl with Glass Feet'? While a very different novel to yours, 'Annabel's' opening scene with the white caribou reminded me of that as white animals strongly feature in the story.