It’s been a year since Sugar And Snails was first published and i’m pleased to be sharing my review as a part of the birthday blog tour.
Anne Goodwin’s debut novel, Sugar and Snails, about a woman who has kept her past identity a secret for thirty years, was published in July 2015 by Inspired Quill and longlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Her second novel, Underneath, about a man who keeps a woman captive in his cellar, is scheduled for publication in May 2017. Anne is also a book blogger and author of over 60 published short stories. Catch up on her website: annethology or on Twitter @Annecdotist.
Diana is invited to travel to Cairo to visit her partner Simon, but something that happened when she was 15 on a visit to Egypt is holding her back. She is a very insecure woman who has clearly gone through something quite dramatic to make her that way, and she isn’t willing to talk about it with anyone.
Through flashbacks to the past it soon becomes clear what Diana is insecure about; the secret she doesn’t want to tell. I wonder if this becomes obvious to the reader before the author intended, but even so it doesn’t interfere with the flow of the book. The revelation itself is not the end of the story, but the beginning of understanding Diana as an adult. Sugar and Snails gave me so much more than I was expecting.
The descriptions of childhood and teenage life drew me in. I wanted to know more about Diana’s experience growing up. I didn’t care much for Simon or the other characters because Diana’s story was so much more important. She has struggled with her secret for more than 30 years and hasn’t fully dealt with the psychological consequences of that. In her forties she is forced to confront the truth head on and find a way to deal with the emotional baggage left behind.
Anne Goodwin has taken a sensitive subject and treated it with respect and care. A beautiful and thought provoking read. One I won’t forget for a long time!
A little more about Anne:
Anne Goodwin writes fiction for the freedom to contradict herself and has been scribbling stories ever since she could hold a pencil.
During her career as an NHS clinical psychologist her focus was on helping other people tell their neglected stories to themselves.
Now that her short fiction publication count has overtaken her age, her ambition is to write and publish enough novels to equal her shoe size.
Anne juggles her sentences while walking in the Peak District, only to lose them battling the slugs in her vegetable plot.
As a break from finding her own words, she is an avid reader and barely-competent soprano in an all-comers choir.
I received a copy of this book directly from the author.