55 pages 1 hour read

Anna Quindlen

After Annie: A Novel

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2024

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Part 1

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1: “Winter”

Part 1, Chapter 1 Summary

Content Warning: Both the source material and this section of the guide contain descriptions of substance use disorder, pregnancy loss, and child abuse, as well as a brief reference to racist behavior.

After returning home from her job at a nursing home, Annie Brown prepares dinner for her husband and four children. She asks her husband, Bill, to get her something for her headache and then collapses in the kitchen. Bill carries Annie to the living room while Ali, the oldest daughter, calls 911. The Brown’s three younger children, all boys, sit frozen at the dinner table. The paramedics arrive, and Ali watches from the table and can only see her mother’s feet lying motionless, still wearing the purple slippers they got her for Christmas. The paramedics load Annie onto a stretcher, and Bill rides with her to the hospital.

Left alone in the house, the children are unsure what to do, so Ali takes charge and sends the two youngest boys, Jamie and Benji, to bed. The oldest boy, Ant, soon follows. When Ali checks on the sleeping boys, Ant asks, “Is she going to die?” (9). Ali brushes off the comment, though she has the same worry.