Becoming Someone by Anne Goodwin – Book Review

Becoming Someone by Anne Goodwin – Book Review

Becoming Someone by Anne Goodwin

Becoming Someone

Author – Anne Goodwin
Publisher – Inspired Quill
Pages – 235
Released – 27th November 2019
ISBN-13 – 978-1908600776
Format – ebook, paperback
Reviewer – Marcia
Rating – 5 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
This post contains affiliate links.


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?

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I had the pleasure of reviewing Anne’s first book Sugar and Snails back in 2016 and loved every minute of it, so when I saw that Anne had written another book and the synopsis took my fancy, I was already hooked and eager to start reading.

Becoming Someone is a short story collection featuring forty-two different stories that all share a common theme, identity. Throughout the book I found myself thinking about the issues of identity more deeply than I have ever before. It is a special ability to crack such a great punch with so few words. Although the stories share a theme they are also unique too and very compelling and poignant.

I particularly liked the stories ‘Madonna and Child’, ‘A place of safety’, and ‘Reflecting Queenie’. These three stories really spoke to me.

Madonna and Child is the story of a teenage mum’s daily routine, her trying to be a grown-up when she is still a child, her feelings towards having no help from others and also wanting to prove she can go it alone. The story also skillfully lets you know she is in denial about her child too.

A Place of Safety tells the story of a young woman in a desperate situation, one she wants to get out of and with help arriving she needs to learn to trust people.

Reflecting Queenie begins in a courtroom with someone being found guilty. We are then taken back on a journey over the years and the situation with the narrators little sister as she tries to work out where it all went wrong for her sister and how she turned into the woman she did.

This is a book that speaks volumes and is well worth reading. Some of the stories are just a page long, others a couple of pages. It is a book that you can dip into now and again and one you don’t have to read in any particular order.

Reviewed by Marcia

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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 2017. Her short story collection, Becoming Someone, on the theme of identity was published in November 2018.

A former clinical psychologist, Anne is also a book blogger with a particular interest in fictional therapists.

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Becoming Someone

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14 Responses

  1. Emma Mane says:

    Very nice.

  2. DJ Sakata says:

    New author for me – I wants it

  3. Megan | Ginger Mom and Company says:

    I love it when you enjoy a book so much and then get an opportunity to read another of the author’s works 🙂 I have a few authors that I will devour anything and everything they write 🙂 This sounds like a pretty good book!

  4. Tasha says:

    I don’t often read short stories but I like the sound of these. I particularly like the sound of Madonna and Child. When I was 16 I became pregnant and had my son when I was just turned 17.

  5. Love short stories. Great review.

  6. Wow amazing review this is the first time I have seen or heard about this book and it looks and sounds amazingly great, I’m really glad you fully enjoyed reading this book. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.

  7. I hope you get to read it.

  8. It is really good. Thanks

  9. I was 18 when I had my eldest, so not much older than you. X

  10. This is the book for you then. Thanks