Friday, October 8, 2010
Swallow by Tonya Plank
Author: Tonya Plank
Publisher: Dark Swan Press
Publication Date: December 2009
Stand alone or series: Stand Alone
Book Received from: Author
First Lines: See Below!
Sophie Hegel is a shy New York lawyer who hails from small-town Florence Arizona, known not for the Renaissance but for housing a large prison. She's just graduated from Yale Law School and landed her first job when, one evening, during dinner with her fiancé, she feels a fist-like ball form at the base of her throat. A form of the psychological condition Globus Sensate, this "fist-ball" wreaks havoc on her life, causing her difficulty eating, speaking, and eventually even breathing.
With a cast of characters that includes a pornographer father, a sister with a knack for getting knocked up by denizens of the town pen, a painter of male nudes, an eccentric Sing Sing-residing client, a tough-talking fashion maven and a bevy of privileged Manhattan lawyers and judges, Swallow is a dark comedy about the distance that can separate fathers and daughters, and about a young woman's struggle to survive in a world of pedigreed professionals for which she has no preparation.
Swallow has definitely opened my eyes when it comes to Psychological Disorders. Don't get me wrong, I know it happens and people suffer them. So when I began reading Swallow it really pulled me into the story of Sophie's life of suffering with a disorder called Globus Sensate or Fist-ball as Sophie refers to it.
I really warmed to Sophie within the first Chapter. She's a shy Appeals Lawyer who does her best to help her clients who were wrongly commited or unfairly sentenced. Right from the beginning though, Sophie struggles with sharing her opinions and making herself be heard, letting others walk over her and making her feel small and insignificant. It doesn't help that when 'FB' shows up others don't notice and keeps on going with their conversations as if she's not even there at times. Francie her good friend is fantastic. She swears, is blunt and not afraid to say what she thinks regardless of who she's around. There are a few other characters who I felt needed a slap upside the head for making Sophie feel the way she does. Tonya has done a good job creating believable three dimensional characters that I cared about.
The story is written well and easy to read although admittedly, there were a few words I had to go reaching for the dictionary for but that was just me.
Don't let the first paragraph put you off though if you choose to read this. It's a fantastic in depth book about Lawyers, art galleries, a not so great family life with a mix of unusual occupations and one woman trying to make a go in a job she really loves.
I'd like to say a big thank you to Tonya Plank for giving me the opportunity to read this awesome book. You can find more about her on her website .
Below I've included the first chapter of Swallow. Enjoy!