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Warning: You Can’t Put Down Anne Goodwin’s Sugar and Snails?

Do You Love to Solve a Mystery?

Don’t lie. You love it. According to Lisa Cron, we are hardwired to find patterns and solve mysteries as we read.

Not only do we love to solve puzzles, we won’t stop reading until we do.

That’s what happened to me.

You won’t put Sugar and Snails down once you start it.

Always Write Rating – Sugar and Snails: A Five Star Book

Sugar and Snails

Read to Learn

However, I did not read this book to solve its mystery. I read it to improve my writing. Lisa Cron who wrote Wired for Story and Story Genius says that you can’t naturally learn just from reading stories. We get too involved in the tale. However, Norah Colvin told me that reading Sugar and Snails might help me learn how to reveal my protagonist’s secret. Wow, Anne Goodwin wove a powerful story that you must read whether you write or not.

Here are some tips that will make your books shine.

A description should emote, not just describe.

  1. Here’s a description of drinking water during dinner with her love in Chapter Five. “I glanced at the water jug, slices of lemon floating on top amongst the eroded chunks of ice, as light as my head felt. … Even on iced water, I felt a little tipsy.”
  2. Silence: “Silence flooded the space between us, thick with accusation and shame.”
  3. Her new love: “Simon’s hair was a little shorter than when I last saw him, adding a beguiling touch of innocence to his manly good looks.”

Everything revolves around the protagonist’s emotional state.

  1. She was not a party-goer. “cheeks aching with the effort of looking as if I were enjoying myself, wondering how soon I could take my leave.”
  2. “hid my clenched teeth with a smile.”
  3. “Three miles of small talk before I could collapse into bed.”

Every action has a consequence that must be explained.

Readers get sidetracked if they think you aren’t going to answer their conjectures.

  1. 15% into the book “I’d put it behind me, exactly as Ms. Thompson had advised me all those years before. Pack it away and my feelings with it; lock it up and throw away the key. The whole damn lot of it: Cairo; Fiona; Simon Jenkins. But I couldn’t shrug off the memory of Geraldine Finch.” Don’t you wonder who these people are?
  2. She’d had problems at work.
    1. 17% into the book – “Colin’s alleged transgression had occurred before I’d teamed up with him – but I’d been tainted.” Don’t you wonder, how was she tainted and what might happen to her as a result? I did.
    2. 45% into the book you read this about her new boss. “Garth knew about the charges against Colin Carmichael.” So my question is, did he set her up?

Books that Inspire

Writing is a chance to inspire humanity and change the world. It’s about the only thing that can. I am changed by this book in more ways than in developing my writing skills, and you may be as well. A book that inspires has to dig deep into the emotional being of the protagonist and build layer upon layer. This book does it. This is the emotional level of book that I want to achieve, so I’m still rewriting. Tell me if reading this book helps you.

About the Author

Anne Goodwin

“Anne Goodwin loves fiction for the freedom to contradict herself and has been scribbling stories ever since she could hold a pencil. During her career as an NHS clinical psychologist, her focus was on helping other people tell their neglected stories to themselves. Now that her short fiction publication count has overtaken her age, her ambition is to write and publish enough novels to match her shoe size. Her debut novel, Sugar and Snails, was published in July 2015 by Inspired Quill and shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Her second novel, Underneath, was published in May 2017.” Goodreads

Have you read a book recently that has inspired you to either write or simply do something about the message of the book?

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10 replies »

  1. Hi Marsha, I’ve got Anne’s book ready to read, had it for ages (time…arrgh…) but I am so keen to and even more so after reading your unique feedback, not just as a reader, but also as a writer 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Marsha, I’m so pleased you enjoyed reading Anne’s book and also learned something in the process. I thoroughly enjoyed it too. It’s a great read, but I also learned from what you drew out of it as a writer. I read it simply as a reader, not as a writer, so our goals were different, but our enthusiasm the same.

    Liked by 1 person




Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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