This is a year of ‘firsts’ for sure. Welcome to my first blog tour post.
The main character of Sugar and Snails is Diana, she is an academic psychologist and has a secret. Her life dramatically changed as a result of a decision she made when she was 15. We meet Diana when her boyfriend, Simon, leaves her to travel to Cairo for few months. From this moments Di tells us her story jumping between her childhood and her life with Simon; her life is clearly split into pre- and post-, she does not stay in touch with people she knew as a child and hardly ever contacts her parents. Diana also has a self-destructive streak, in extreme situations she resorts to self harm; another trait of her personality is deep distrust towards other people, fueled by her secret.
I must admit that initially I didn’t find the story of Di and Simon’s relationship convincing. It felt a bit like a prop needed to push Di to deal with her secret, but as the book progressed and events caught up with the opening scene and moved on I got really engaged, mostly because Di is an interesting person, lonely, but looking for human contact.
She is a tragic character, held hostage by the fear of having her secret revealed, she dreads lack of acceptance. Because of this Di has a tendency to keep people at a distance, as if harming herself psychologically when she cannot retreat to physical pain. At the same time she tries to understand the decision she made at 15, her research topic are factors affecting decision making in teenagers. I found her thoughts on the role her parents played in her decision and whether they were driven by fear and shame, very moving and interesting.
Anne Goodwin takes a close look at how secrets and lies can affect our entire life, down to the heart of who we are. How decisions have consequences we rarely thought about when making them. It is a book about identity, trust, secrets and how isolating they can be. It develops into a thought provoking read.
Did you ever made a decision that haunted you later? What was the most difficult fictional decision you read about?
Thanks to Anne Goodwin for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
You can find more information about the book on Inspired Quill website.
And here are other stops on the Blog Tour:
Photo by Violetta Kaszubowska