The Girls At 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib
The chocolate went first, then the cheese, the fries, the ice cream. The bread was more difficult, but if she could just lose a little more weight, perhaps she would make the soloists’ list. Perhaps if she were lighter, danced better, tried harder, she would be good enough. Perhaps if she just ran for one more mile, lost just one more pound.
Anna Roux was a professional dancer who followed the man of her dreams from Paris to Missouri. There, alone with her biggest fears – imperfection, failure, loneliness – she spirals down anorexia and depression till she weighs a mere eighty-eight pounds. Forced to seek treatment, she is admitted as a patient at 17 Swann Street, a peach pink house where pale, fragile women with life-threatening eating disorders live. Women like Emm, the veteran; quiet Valerie; Julia, always hungry. Together, they must fight their diseases and face six meals a day.
Yara Zgheib’s poetic and poignant debut novel is a haunting, intimate journey of a young woman’s struggle to reclaim her life. Every bite causes anxiety. Every flavor induces guilt. And every step Anna takes toward recovery will require strength, endurance, and the support of the girls at 17 Swann Street. ~ Description from Goodreads
I have read a TON of books about eating disorders. My collection is quite extensive. As someone who has had these issues in the past, reading about it is kind of my guilty pleasure. I don’t know….. I guess I am just messed up in the head like that. So before I get into my review I will go ahead and say this TW! TW! ** Trigger warning: Eating Disorders
I was really excited to read this book at first. The main character is in her late 20s and married which is a totally different view from what is normally portrayed in these stories. I was something I could relate more now as I, myself am older now too. This book was very realistic. It didn’t glorify or glamorize eating disorders in any way. I loved how real this story is.
Overall I did not enjoy this book unfortunately. I usually love flash backs in books but in this one there were randomly italicized flash backs that kind of made no sense. It drove me nuts! This is usually a very interesting topic but I just couldn’t get into this book! I found the whole thing very dull. Again, maybe it was just the formatting? I also couldnt get past the fact the protagonist was named Anna…. Anna the Anorexic. Maybe I’m just nit-picking at that point but it did annoy me.
I know this is a weak review but I struggled to finish this book. It really took me about 2 1/2 months to finish. I’m on the fence about how to rate this book. Im hovering between 2 and 3 stars….. Im going to go ahead and give it 3 because the things that I personally did not like are just personal preference.
This book releases in early February! If you are interested in this book I URGE you to go and check it out. This book has been receiving AWESOME reviews. This just wasnt a winner for me.