Sugar And Snails
by Anne Goodwin
The past lingers on, etched beneath our skin …
At fifteen, Diana Dodsworth took the opportunity to radically alter the trajectory of her life, and escape the constraints of her small-town existence. Thirty years on, she can’t help scratching at her teenage decision like a scabbed wound.
To safeguard her secret, she’s kept other people at a distance … until Simon Jenkins sweeps in on a cloud of promise and possibility. But his work is taking him to Cairo, and he expects Di to fly out for a visit. She daren’t return to the city that changed her life; nor can she tell Simon the reason why.
Sugar and Snails takes the reader on a poignant journey from Diana’s misfit childhood, through tortured adolescence to a triumphant mid-life coming-of-age that challenges preconceptions about bridging the gap between who we are and who we feel we ought to be.
This book is the story of Diana Dodsworth’s struggle to be accepted for who she is. At 45 years of age she has barely had a romantic relationship and struggled to have a close relationship even with close family members.
Her story is told in flashbacks from different periods of her life, culminating in a life-changing moment at 15 years of age, that she still hasn’t fully come to terms with at 45 years old. When a new relationship begins, she is forced to confront her issues and try to move forward to make a new life for herself. I didn’t know what the subject was before I began to read but did quickly come to realise what Di’s secret was as I began reading.
I thought Di was a well written character who had had a really difficult life and watching her move into a new phase was satisfying. I have to say that I was a tad disappointed that a large part of the story was left unresolved, I get that it would appear to be a side issue for some, but I would really have liked to have seen what happened. Nevertheless, this is a really good read for anyone who feels outside the norm and a little bit different. It is a well written novel dealing with a difficult subject sensitively and with compassion.
Many thanks to the author for sending me a copy.
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Anne Goodwin studied Mathematics and Psychology at Newcastle University around the same time as the narrator of Sugar and Snails. After twenty-five years as a clinical psychologist in Newcastle and North Nottinghamshire, she now focuses on writing and reviewing fiction. She has published over 60 short stories and blogs about reading and writing, with a smattering of psychology at annegoodwin.weebly.com/annecdotal.html.
Sugar and Snails is her first published novel.