Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Chick lit/Literary Fiction
Approximate word count: 95-100,000
Availability Kindle: YES Nook: YES Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon or B&N store
Like the protagonist of Swallow, Tonya Plank worked as a criminal appeals attorney in New York City for many years. She’s considered an expert in ballroom dancing, having danced competitively for many years. For more information, visit the author’s web site.
Sophie is just starting out in her career as a criminal appeals attorney. Life seemed almost perfect for the upwardly mobile Sophie until she started getting a sensation like she had a ball stuck in her throat. She couldn’t breathe, talk, and could barely eat. Try facing a panel of appeals judges thinking you’re going to choke to death on the spot.
Swallow has been the recipient of several awards. These include best regional fiction in the 2010 Independent Publisher Awards (IPPYs).
I’ve put Swallow in the, “it’s not you, it’s me” file. I think that says more about me, or at least the kind of book I enjoy most, than it says about Swallow. Plank’s writing style (her “writer’s voice” as people like saying) works well. The major characters were well defined and, in the case of Sophie, I liked her immediately. The premise of the story and plot is good. On a purely objective level – at least as close as I can get - this book has it all.
However, at a certain point I wanted to stop reading. What I found is Sophie was starting to irritate me. It seemed as though she was spending more time trying to hide her problem than finding out what was causing it and how to get it fixed. In fairness, she did try somewhat, but with no success. Eventually Sophie reaches the same place I hadd, and reacted the way I was hoping she would, it just took her a lot longer to get there. As I’ve been thinking about it I realized I once did the same thing as Sophie, in my case putting off getting additional medical attention when the initial treatments weren’t working. Maybe the problem was I saw something of myself in Sophie, and didn’t like what I was seeing.
Globus Hystericus was Sophie’s eventual diagnosis if you’re interested in seeing what Google will uncover about it. It appears the causes can vary, some physical, some not.
There were a small number of typos, wrong word usage, or grammar issues.
Rating: **** Four stars