#BlogTour Sugar and Snails by Anne Goodwin

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Sugar and Snails by Anne Goodwin.
About the Author

Anne Goodwin writes entertaining fiction about identity, mental health and social justice. She is the author of three novels and a short story collection published by small independent press, Inspired Quill. Her debut novel, Sugar and Snails, was shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Her new novel, Matilda Windsor Is Coming Home, is inspired by her previous incarnation as a clinical psychologist in a long-stay psychiatric hospital. Subscribers to her newsletter can download a free e-book of prize-winning short stories. 

Follow @Annecdotist on Twitter, Visit annegoodwin.weebly.com, @Annecdotist on Facebook, Instagram @authorannegoodwinAnne Goodwin’s YouTube channelAmazon author page: viewauthor.at/AnneGoodwin, Publisher Inspired Quill

About the book

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.


I was in two minds about the way to review this book. On one hand there’s an opportunity to discuss and go into detail, but on the other hand it’s also the kind of read that allows for the reader to discover the story at their own pace.

This is a story about identity, perception of identity and the way the world around us tries to fit us into preconceived notions and ready made boxes. It’s also about the inner struggle when the aforementioned leads to a battle of self.

The premise has unfortunately become an embittered battleground in the last few years with great division and warring sides, with little thought left to the reality of the confusion and pain of those in this duality.

I have to agree with the sentiment in the author’s note, if it had been written with both parents taking centre stage, the core and heart of this premise would have been non-existent. Writing it with Di at the wheel and steering the boat was much more intimate, frank and soul baring. It’s as if the reader is at the emotional core of memories, emotions and the duality of spirit and being.

It’s a really excellent piece of fiction, an exploration of a journey, of a life lived with expectations, hopes, and an unfinished jigsaw of self.

Buy Sugar and Snails at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Inspired Quill, pub date 23 July 2015. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Books2read. 

#BlogTour Matilda Windsor is Coming Home by Anne Goodwin

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Matilda Windsor is Coming Home by Anne Goodwin.

About the Author

Anne Goodwin grew up in the non-touristy part of Cumbria, where this novel is set. When she went to university ninety miles away, no-one could understand her accent. After nine years of studying, her first post on qualifying as a clinical psychologist was in a long-stay psychiatric hospital in the process of closing.

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. Her second novel, Underneath, about a man who keeps a woman captive in his cellar, was published in 2017. Her short story collection, Becoming Someone, on the theme of identity, was published in November 2018. Subscribers to her newsletter can download a free e-book of prize-winning short stories.

Follow @Annecdotist on Twitter,  on Facebook, Visit Anne’s linktr.ee, her Youtube channel and annegoodwin.weebly.com

About the book

In the dying days of the old asylums, three paths intersect. Henry was only a boy when he waved goodbye to his glamorous grown-up sister; approaching sixty, his life is still on hold as he awaits her return. As a high-society hostess renowned for her recitals, Matty’s burden weighs heavily upon her, but she bears it with fortitude and grace.

Janice, a young social worker, wants to set the world to rights, but she needs to tackle challenges closer to home. A brother and sister separated by decades of deceit. Will truth prevail over bigotry, or will the buried secret keep family apart?

In this, her third novel, Anne Goodwin has drawn on the language and landscapes of her native Cumbria and on the culture of long-stay psychiatric hospitals where she began her clinical psychology career. Find out more on Matilda Windsor’s webpage


Matilda is a grande dame of drama, an woman with connections and also one who has lived for many decades behind the closed doors of a facility for the mentally ill. A small number of them are long-term residents., which means they fall to the side of the facility they live.

Henry is a man who lives in the past and wants to find the sister who disappeared when he was a young child. He doesn’t understand why she didn’t keep her promise to come back to him. Others in his small orbit tell him to get on with his own life and forget all about the woman who never returned.

This is tragic, perhaps more so because it’s fiction with root in facts and reality. Although the story of Matilda is set in the early 20th century, what she experiences is a crime that has been committed against women and girls for many centuries. 

Lack of understanding at the biological functions of the female body and the possibly ensuing psychological and physical medical conditions, would result in them being deemed mentally unstable and retired to a hospital or lunatic asylum. If you wanted rid of your pesky wife then having them declared insane and locked away was a frequent solution. Any person of either gender who didn’t conform to the norm or was classed as what we would now term as having additional needs would suffer similar fates. The patriarchal society used the powerlessness of the opposite gender to commit legal crimes against them.

Imagine spending half a century locked away for essentially being a victim and speaking your truth. In a place that eventually turns you into the unstable liability everyone says you are. Imagine being forgotten in an uncaring system with loopholes bigger than Swiss cheese.

It’s an intricately drawn picture of a tragic family story. A series of mishaps shows the vast nature of surroundings, despite the fact it also speaks to the six degrees of separation that exists between us all. From what I can gather this might just be the start of Miss Windsor’s story. I’m not sure how I feel about that, because this is an excellent standalone read, and you can’t spoil the integrity or experience of that, so a sequel will be interesting.

Buy Matilda Windsor is Coming Home at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Inspired Quill pub date 29 May 2021. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Inspired Quill