Friday 23 November 2018

Becoming Someone by Anne Goodwin

Becoming Someone by Anne Goodwin
Published in the UK by Inspired Quill today, the 23rd November 2018.

Featured in Cover Characteristics: Flying Birds and my Book Of The Month for November 2018

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the author

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What shapes the way we see ourselves? 

An administrator is forced into early retirement; a busy doctor needs a break. A girl discovers her sexuality; an older man explores a new direction for his. An estate agent seeks adventure beyond marriage; a photojournalist retreats from an overwhelming world. A woman reduces her carbon footprint; a woman embarks on a transatlantic affair. A widow refuses to let her past trauma become public property; another marks her husband’s passing in style.

Thought-provoking, playful and poignant, these 42 short stories address identity from different angles, examining the characters’ sense of self at various points in their lives. What does it mean to be a partner, parent, child, sibling, friend? How important is work, culture, race, religion, nationality, class? Does our body, sexuality, gender or age determine who we are? 

Is identity a given or can we choose the someone we become?

I enjoy reading short story collections, but it's rare for me to find one where I love every tale. Usually there are hits and misses so I was delighted to find that every single one of the forty-two stories in Becoming Someone is a hit!

Anne Goodwin has such an observant eye for human motivation and behaviour so all her characters came across to me as authentic and genuine - quite the achievement when the stories run such a wide gamut of human experience encompassing pretty much all ages, genders and relationships. Anne can also vividly portray scenes within a few sentences. Becoming Someone includes stories of varying lengths from vignettes that barely last a page to full tales that are several pages in length. I felt that they were each as long as they needed to be though. None were too abrupt or overstayed their welcome, and every one had a thought-provoking point to make.

I did find that I needed to frequently set this book aside in order to think over the story I had just read - and this is certainly not a criticism! Despite their brevity, the Becoming Someone stories cannot be considered light reads and this isn't a book to dash through. I enjoyed dipping into it, particularly of an evening, but long enough before sleep to allow sufficient pondering time!

Meet the author

Anne Goodwin’s debut novel, Sugar and Snails was shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Her second novel, Underneath, was published in 2017. Alongside her identity as a writer, she’ll admit to being a sociable introvert; recovering psychologist; voracious reader; slug slayer; struggling soprano; and tramper of moors.

Amazon author page ~ Inspired Quill page

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Anne Goodwin / Short stories / Books from England


  1. Short story collections can sometimes be good to read if you enjoy the stories.

  2. Nope, sometimes the longer it takes me to read a book the more it impacted me.

    1. I tend to immerse myself in a book and devour it so slower reads are rare!

  3. Oh wow, that's awesome to find a collection where you love every story! And the fact that you had to set the book aside to think definitely sounds like a great thing!

    1. Yes, I'd thought that Becoming Someone would be good, but hadn't expected it to be so brilliant :-)

  4. Thanks for this lovely review, Stephanie, and so glad you liked it.
    Just to let your readers know, there’s been a technical hitch with the link to the e-book on Amazon, but you can get it at the same price through the publishers here: