Annaliese from Off
The action of Lindy Keane Carter’s deeply impressive debut novel Annaliese From Off starts in relative domestic tranquility: in 1900, young mother, Annaliese Stregal, is more or less happy when her husband, John, suddenly arranges for her to leave their home and live in a lumber camp in northern Georgia where he is conducting a business. To make matters worse, Annaliese is accompanied by her strident sister-in-law, Lucenia, a progressive thinker with plenty of opinions on social issues about which Annaliese herself is initially indifferent.
One of those issues hits home directly in her new settin – the rapid deforestation being conducted by John’s own business. This conflicted setup broils over soon after the arrival of Annaliese and Lucenia, and Carter keeps the pace of her powerful story bubbling along with great dramatic energy and long stretches of very effective dialogue.
Annaliese emerges as a complex, very likable character, as does Lucenia in her own way.