The Girls at 17 Swann Street

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

I tried to read this and enjoy it but the subject matter - eating disorders- is very sad and almost incomprehensible for someone who has no experience with it.  I think it probably very relevant and possibly helpful for those who suffer or have suffered through anorexia and body image.
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I found The Girls at 17 Swann Street to be an enlightening story about eating disorders. While I could tell the author did her research on the subject and I appreciated that I couldn't get past her apparent disregard for quotation marks. I was constantly wondering if we have slipped into the past again or who was speaking and even if it was out loud or in someone's head.
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Reading books where eating disorders are the focus can be hit or miss.  I found the concept of a book centered around a group home for women with eating disorders interesting and wanted to know more.  Zgheib's debut was full of powerful messages about the lies we tell ourselves when mental illness takes over and how far we will go to maintain some semblance of control.

I easily read the book in one sitting even with the uncomfortable subject matter.  I believe the author did her research before writing the story and it showed.  All together thought provoking and heartbreaking, The Girls will definitely make you think.  

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy.
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Thoroughly enjoyed this book. I read it in record time as I had to know how things turned out for Anna.  Anna was a professional ballet dancer who developed anorexia. We follow her journey at 26 years old as she is sent to a home of girls dealing with the same illness.  Un-put-downable!
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I received a net-galley of The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib, in exchange for an honest review.  Inspired by her own experience, Zgheib’s; a story of a woman’s struggle with anorexia. Anna Roux was a professional dancer who followed the man of her dreams from Paris to Missouri. She is now alone in a new country and she starts to spiral into a lonely world of anorexia. She now must seek treatment and is admitted as a patient at 17 Swann Street She now is joined by other women in her condition and together they struggle to find life again. This is a very moving account of what women secretly face daily. I recommend this book.
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I was really looking forward to reading this book, having a friend who has survived anorexia. This is a look into what it's like going through treatment and the constant thoughts of food and never being thin enough is like. Told through the story of Anna, a former dancer from Paris who moves to the United States with her husband Matthias. The book follows Anna's struggles in residential treatment facility and the struggles of her fellow patients who are battling their own eating disorders (Bulimia and Anorexia).

Overall, the book was a pretty quick read. There wasn't anything shocking or momentous that stood out about it but if you're curious about what it's like to go through an eating disorder or treatment for an eating disorder then this is a good place to start!
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I enjoyed this book. It dealt with eating disorders and body images and mental health. A dancer no longer a dancer struggling with herself. It was interesting and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
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This is a truly captivating book. While this is not Yara Zgheibs' first book, it is her debut in adult fiction.  Yara covers the clinical aspects of this disease, covering the statistics, but with Anna's story we get the human element, the understand of the emotions that lead to an eating disorder, the social forces. The balance between the two is important and what makes this story one that readers can connect with. 

Anna's decent into anorexia reads much like a diary and it's one that is heartbreaking and haunting - yet it remain hopeful. Anna understands how she got to "this place", this home for woman trying to deal with this disease. Anna has one that that keeps her there, yet pulls her away. The desire to be home with her husband Matthias.

Anna's time in the treatment home is split between the act of eating, the thoughts consuming the patient and the control they lose be being there, as well as the interactions with the other patients. Much of the story is this element, navigating the rules and driving her desire to get better.  I had personal reasons for connecting with her plight, and I enjoyed getting Anna's history. I found that I really cared about this character and with what she experiences. 

"Everyone around me thinks I have a problem. Everyone around me is scared. I do not have a problem. I just have to lose a little bit of weight. I am scared, too, but not of gaining weight. I am terrified of life. Of a sad and unfair world. I do not suffer from a sick brain. I suffer from a sick heart."

Zgheib really gets at the heart of it, this is not simply choosing to eat or not eat. There is something driving the disease, whether it's mental, emotional or physical.  The patients are there for protection because clearly they are not getting the right care, but the treatments methods aren't always right for everyone. But clearly they have to start somewhere.  
I recommend this book to , well everyone. It would be easy to say that those going through anything similar might want to read it, but this really a story about a woman taking very brave steps to concur her illness, to find a happier self, contentment, recovery.
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"a haunting portrait of a young woman’s struggle with anorexia on an intimate journey to reclaim her life."  This statement perfectly describes my feelings toward this novel.

I really enjoyed this one, it was simplistic in style but read hauntingly beautifully.  There is a lot of heartache and heartbreak within these pages.  Zgheib did a wonderful job at depicting the mental struggle that eating disorders are.  I also thought it was a very real touch with her treatment plan updates, and discussion on co-occurring mental health diagnoses  throughout the novel.  Though Anorexia is the main ED covered, Zgheib includes are storyline of Bulimia.  You get to read the harrowing  internal struggle of the main character, Anna, and how her actions put strain on her relationships.

While Zgheib's novel can be considered a trigger to those currently or previously experiencing an ED, it is also a great eye opener to the other side of things to those who have family/friends who struggle.
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I really enjoyed this book in which very little happens. 

I used to work in an inpatient mental health facility that worked with a lot of teens struggling with eating disorders. This book did a great job depicting their reality and giving readers a glimpse into their behaviors and mindset. A sad but hopeful read, perfect for a rainy day. 

Obviously, trigger warnings abound.
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I had no idea what to expect from this book, but I really enjoyed. Informative and gave a real insight into the life of someone living with Anorexia and how it came about.
Some great characters and excellent descriptions.
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This is a moving story geared toward anyone who can identify with anorexia and Anna draws attention to this eating disorder with her journey to battle her phobias. Her story is poignant and will have you in her corner. Having moved from another country with her husband and being a ballet dancer, she is devastated when she doesn't find work as a dancer like when she was back home. This leads to depression and then spirals into anorexia. Her husband who in my books is a hero, gets her the help she needs to battle her condition. I voluntarily agreed to receive an ARC of this story book for an honest review.
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This book was amazing and it's such an important time to write about issues that people can relate to. This book shows the effects and struggles eating disorders have on people and what it means to have a support group. I recommend this book to everyone. It's written in a prose that's also fascinating.
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Absolutely loved this book. Read it all in one day. It made me feel like I was right there fighting along with the main character in the book. It made me more aware of the struggles someone with an eating disorder goes through. I would definitely recommend this book!
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I have to say, I connected to Anna, and the girls from The Girls at 17 Swann Street in ways I never imagined. This story pulled me in from the very first page and I could not put it down!

Anna has been a ballet dancer for years but she has also been battling a silent death for all of those years too. Annorexia. Moving from Paris, to live in Missouri, Anna is struggling when her husband Matthias brings her to live at 17 Swann Street, a home to women and girls, battling eating disorders. 

Heartbreaking, compassionate, raw with emotion. Yara Zgheib paints the very true story of what annorexia looks like to Anna. It affects everyone that Anna comes in contact with and it truly is the silent killer. We get to see what someone living with this disorder goes through each day. What their brain struggles with to accept a bite of food at each meal and the triggers that formed this disease. 

This was such an important story that needed to be told. To bring about more awareness to such a heartbreaking disease and to allow girls that may be going through this struggle that they are not alone, and go seek help.

*Thank you to netgalley and St. Martins Press for this free digital copy. All opinions are my own
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The Girls at 17 Swann Street

By: Yara Zgheib

"The chocolate went first, then the cheese, the fries and the ice cream..."

After years of anorexia and depression Anna, weighing just 88 pounds, seeks treatment at a group home.

This was a hard book to read because being in Anna's head hits close to home but I also think it's incredibly important.

While we do see flashbacks to Anna's past and how she came to this place- I liked that the focus of 17 Swann Street was about the attempt for recovery and the support between the girls. From her welcome letter of friendship and how no girl will trigger another or leave one alone at the table and how Anna passes it on easily enough.

Also the great stress on what an anxiety it becomes to eat again. The constant fight in your brain and the medical issues how things have changed and food might not even taste the same, or like anything at all, for you any longer.

Everyone's experiences are different but I thought The Girls at 17 Swann Street was very well-written and while Anna is a main character we get enough of the other girls to care about them and to get an idea of the different ways people travel down their own paths yet somehow wind up in the same situation.

The girls really run the gamut as well- they obviously aren't as in-depth as Anna but again I really appreciated the support system that grows between them.

I thought it was interesting to that the therapy sessions bring up something in Anna's past- from a pure straight reader perspective I expected that to be dealt with and it never really was. Yet from a life perspective I know all to well nothing is ever wrapped up in bows, there are no easy cures and recovery is on-going.

Recommend: Yes. 

Needless to say I don't think this book will be for everyone and people have different experiences. But I think it can help lead to understanding and get people talking about these issues and if you are interested in books on eating disorders/mental health it's definitely worth checking out.

*I received a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The Girls at 17 Swann Street is available now.
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Almost from the first page or certainly within the first 20 pages, I was, for lack of a better word, ravaged by the persona of the main character Anna. She's intelligent, exacting, lonely, and anorexic oh, and she knows it. The rest of the book about "the girls" is at times harrowing, at other times savagely funny, because I was able to see into the world in which all women live as they conduct their bodies according to standards of beauty that are impossible to meet. To see the different characters' personalities, and to live these lives with them, resonated for me, and even if I would not identify my own experiences with food and my body as disordered, I instantly recognized myself in these pages. A very impressive book on the disabling power the constructs of Western society for women, and the people we are able to become in spite of it. Highly recommended.
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3.5 Stars

A powerful book about a young woman with anorexia. Anna develops anorexia after moving to the States with her husband from Paris. When her husband and family finally step in, Anna is admitted to a residential treatment center on Swann Street. There she meets a group of girls suffering from various types of eating disorders and forms bonds with them while struggling to accept and fight her disease. 

Zgheib does a great job at depicting the reality and horrors of anorexia. You feel the frustration, anger, sadness, and defeat that both Anna and her husband, Matthias, feel. And you rally with them as she gains the strength and determination to fight. I felt the treatment notes seemed more like an info-dump and they interrupted the story some with the clinical way they were written, but at the same time they were informative and interesting.

Heartbreaking yet with a glimmer of hope, this book shows the crises of eating disorders and the power and love it takes to survive it. 

I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.
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I started this novel as a part of a blog tour, but unfortunately I couldn't finish it. It had a lot of triggers in it that I wasn't prepared for and it was very depressing and sad. I had to give up halfway through unfortunately. Thank you to NetGalley for sending this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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This was a really great story. Right away I was captivated by the style of writing. Readers will venture in the life of woman with an eating disorder and the pain and struggle it is to be her true self. Although tough to read at points, it is a well developed and important topic to understand. This is a definite must read!!
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