Sugar and Snails Paperback by Anne Goodwin

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Hi readers, lovely for you to join for another review and this one is beautiful; honestly through and through. I am going to apologise this is one of those books that if you give away a lot of the plot then it does ultimately ruin the development for the reader so this may come across as a hazy review, but this book is sublime and is a needed read by  anyone who resides in the year of 2015 because it rings very true.

The past lingers on, etched beneath our skin … At fifteen, Diana Dodworth 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.

Due to not being able to or wanting to give away too much into the specific plot line I’m going to throw myself into the nitty-gritty. I am so impressed that this is a debut novel;  there is something that makes the author seem incredibly comfortable as an author; it feel natural, well-conceived and given to the reader in a way that feels neither telling neither negative. The topic discussed through the book is at times challenging and disturbing in the way that those around our main character react.

What I can say in terms of plot is that we follow the life of Diana Dodsworth who is an academic psychologist. She is a little nervous, anxious, awkward at times and self-conscious. We see her struggle through a particularly difficult dinner party where she meets Simon. The two appear to find solace in one another and their relationship develops. However tension from previous experiences mean the two struggle and we see their relationship struggle and falter and then grow stronger. I adored the way their relationship was built; it’s not flowers and fairies, it’s gritty, and raw. It discussed feelings that I had yet to really truly experience and when we relate that to Di’s internal struggle it is truly heartbreaking.

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I thought the tale moved with pace and was told with strength; both main characters are well built up and develop strongly throughout. Additionally secondary supporting characters were given the time to become characters in their own selves helping to create a well-rounded plot-line. The writing is strong and moves with enough pace and style. It has a languid feel with beautifully built up moments. The writing does move backwards and forwards time wise and after reading for a long periods of time I did feel a little lost. However, it only adds to the confusion that the author is creating in the story of the main protagonist and it makes it feel all the more real.

I really felt that I learnt something from this book and that’s what us readers want to experience from a novel; not only a story but a meaning and this book has definitely ignited a want to learn and understand more. I’m gabbing on, and T moans my reviews are too long so I’m finishing here. Buy it today because you’ll miss out on something fantastic if you don’t.

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