At fifteen, she made a life-changing decision. Thirty years on, it’s time to make another.
When Diana escaped her misfit childhood, she thought she’d chosen the easier path. But the past lingers on, etched beneath her skin, and life won’t be worth living if her secret gets out.
As an adult, she’s kept other people at a distance... until Simon sweeps in on a cloud of promise and possibility. But his work is taking him to Cairo, the city that transformed her life. She’ll lose Simon if she doesn’t join him. She’ll lose herself if she does.
Sugar and Snails charts Diana’s unusual journey, revealing the scars from her fight to be true to herself. A triumphant mid-life coming-of-age story about bridging the gap between who we are and who we feel we ought to be.
Sugar and Snails is an altogether different look at the way destiny shapes our lives. Diana Dodsworth is a shy and introverted forty-something, she guards her privacy well, and trusts few people. She keeps her friends at arm’s length, and finds no reason to confide in them, nor does she want people to know anything more about her other than what she is willing to disclose. However, when circumstances force her to look again at her life, Diana has to learn to have self-belief, even if it means giving up some of her well-guarded secrets.
The author, with a keen eye for detail, tackles some difficult issues, but with perceptive sensitivity she keeps a firm grasp on the main thread of the story, and as Diana's interesting past emerges, so a thoughtful and poignant story starts to be revealed.
I don't feel that I can share anything more about the emotive themes which run through Sugar and Snails as that would be to reveal more than was wise, so all I will say is that I found the story quite different from what I expected, but different in a good way. It's a very thought provoking read and makes you ponder the question ‘what is identity’ and concludes with the thought that, who we are, should be who we are’ regardless of the circumstances, or otherwise, of our birth.
This is a thought provoking debut novel and I hope that this talented author continues to give us more of the same in future novels.
Jaffa was especially pleased to meet up with Marmaduke, a discerning cat after his own heart.
About the Author
Anne Goodwin is the author of two novels and a short story collection. Her debut novel, Sugar and Snails, about a woman who has kept her past identity a secret for thirty years, was shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Throughout February, subscribers to her newsletter can read Sugar and Snails for free.
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