Today a writerly friend is published. I met Anne in 2009 at an Arvon course. Both of us had books we hoped might eventually reach the point of publication and today Anne’s does just that.
I was fortunate enough to read Sugar and Snails a while ago and again recently in its final polished version. It was always good. Now it is excellent.
Diana is on the verge. Her life should be going on an upwards path, at least in the view of others but as we join her it is coming apart at the seams. We soon learn that something happened, something beyond imagining, when she was a child. We know soon enough it involved a trip to Cairo at 15 but what on earth can it be?
Anne takes us on a journey through Diana’s present and past, weaving both narratives with an expertise that ensures the reader always regrets the time jumps because it means another suspenseful wait but loves it at the same moment as the other narrative is to continue.
Another skill in evidence beyond the compelling story telling is in the drawing of her characters. I especially enjoyed Diana’s work colleagues with the exuberant Venus worth a book of her own. But for me the strongest writing is in the family history, in the characters of Diana’s parents as they struggle against their conventions and expectations, hidebound by society’s mores but, by their own lights, doing their best. You cannot but shed a tear for all of them as they are caught in a vortex of circumstances well beyond their imagining.
If you’d like to enjoy a quality read then this is for you. You can buy it here
and you can find out more about Anne on her blog, Annethology, here.