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Title: Sugar and Snails
Author: Anne Goodwin
Genre: Literary Fiction

Series: Standalone
Publisher: Inspired Quill
Publication Date: July 23, 2015

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Sugar and Snails Blurb

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.

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This book was confusing at first, I have to admit.

The writing style was easy to read, though it does jump from the past to the present a lot. The only indication of these time jumps were page breaks. There were no dates involved so you just needed to use context clues to figure out whether that scene happened then or now. However, you get used to it and it never really disrupted the flow of the story. In fact, the two different stories made it more interesting to read.

I couldn’t quite figure out what the story was about. The summary doesn’t hint at much, other than that Diana, the protagonist, has a deeply buried secret. I couldn’t even figure out what the title had to do with anything.

It’s not until you’re 200-or-so pages into the novel that a sudden lightbulb appears above your head. You know exactly what’s going on and everything that was mentioned before that point makes complete sense now.

Anne Goodwin tells this story in such a way to keep the readers guessing, wondering, what did Diana possibly do 30 years ago that’s made her be like this? It’s a secret to most of the characters as well as to the reader. Even when I did figure it out, the story didn’t come right out and say it. I had just enough information to piece it together myself, which I found to be very clever. Overall,

The novel as a whole was well crafted. I feel as though I can’t say too much because then I would be giving the whole premise away, but this is an important book that I would recommend to anyone.

Sugar and Snails by Anne Goodwin


Writing Style


Overall, Sugar and Snails by Anne Goodwin was well-written, intriguing, and kept my attention, especially towards the end. The characters were well developed and easy to follow.


About Anne Goodwin

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.

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