When I read the book synopsis, I thought this would be a serious book since it deals with a psychological disorder called Globus Sensate where Sophie feels like something in stuck in the throat as a result of which he/she may find trouble eating or in extreme cases- breathing.
So when I opened the first page I was prepared for a sad saga. But Swallow is far from sad. It’s a look into the life of a New York lawyer (intern) who seems to be awkward, lacks confidence and generally looks down upon herself. Sophie Hegel is working as an intern in a New York firm acting as a criminal appeals attorney. I obviously had no idea that there are attorney’s just for appealing cases. But I did get a lot of information about it from this book.
Sophie seemingly has everything. A hot-shot lawyer for a boyfriend-Stephen, a fabulous New York apartment which she lives in with her Stephen and a job as an intern which could possibly turn into a permanent one.
But as a reader you learn from the very first chapter that Sophie had self-worth issues. Coming from a small town in Arizona, Sophie never feels like she completely belongs and is not comfortable with people she thinks are more successful and more sophisticated than her.
Things start going wrong when Sophie discovers that she has problem swallowing even simple things, including drinks. After confirming that she has no physical problems she is hoping to find answers from her psychiatrist. This book is not about a disease. It’s about Sophie’s struggles, not only with her self-issues but also with her relationships- her mother, her sister who has 3 children out of wedlock and her father who makes pornographic movies.
As I said I expected this book to be dark and serious but it actually reads like a chick-lit or a light novel, which was a welcome change. In spite of this, the author never undermined Sophie’s problem or made light of it which I really liked. Sophie is a very likable character most of the time and although you get a good glimpse into Sophie’s character, I wish some of the other characters were explored in little more detail, like Stephen or her father, whom I really disliked and was intrigued by at the same time. At times I thought the book was not moving at all, especially in the middle. But it really picked up pace for the last 100 pages which was nice.
Would I recommend Swallow? Yes, definitely. I found it very entertaining. But if you expect to find more details about the psychological disorder, you’ll be disappointed. Go into it expected a light hearted novel and you’ll enjoy yourself. I would even go as far as calling it a Beach read.
Oh and by the way, do you know that the author Tonya Plank is a dancer? I find that really cool.
Gold Medal, 2010 Living Now Book Awards * Gold Medal, 2010 Independent Publisher Awards * Finalist, ForeWord Book of the Year Awards * Finalist, National Indie Excellence Awards * Kindle Top 10 Best Seller, Legal Fiction / Anxiety Disorders