Thursday, July 29, 2010

Swallow, by Tonya Plank

SwallowSophie appears to have a wonderful life in Manhattan.  A graduate of Yale Law School, Sophie has a good job, though not a glamorous one, working at the Public Defenders office.  She has a successful lawyer fiance', and now gets to plan her fairytale wedding.  Life is grand, with the exception of one small problem.  Sophie has something caught in her throat, at least, she believes she does.  This "thing" will not go away.  She cannot eat or swallow, and eventually, she has trouble breathing.  We watch as the "thing" takes its toll on her life over the course of several months.

I found this work by Tonya Plank to be quite original, and engaging.  At first we have this mental image of Sophie, who most would think has it all together.  We quickly see that appearances can be deceiving, as we learn more and more about Sophie's past, her family life, and her insecurities.  We are allowed a voyeuristic glimpse into Sophie's weaknesses and fears, and allowed to draw some of our own conclusions.

The cast of supporting characters in the book help drive the storyline, and are nothing short of magnetic.  Francie was my favorite, with her lovely New York accent; I literally heard her in my head.  As a student of psychology myself, I loved the idea of this mental block Sophie had, and why she had it.  I am glad that Tonya Plank did not take the easy way out concerning the cause of Sophie's issues.  It would have been too convenient to blame it on some childhood secret sexual trauma.  No, I think the source of Sophie's neurosis is brilliant, and one to which so many women can relate.  I am particularly pleased that the book is structured with black humor, as opposed to an overly dramatic version of the story.

I think the book makes a quick, fun read, perfect for a vacation or weekend book.  Clearly, the book will primarily appeal to women, so my advice ladies....toss this in your beach bag, and prepare for a bitey, humorous little glimpse into the head of Sophie.

A touring review copy of this book was provided by Crazy Book Tours.
Crazy Book Tours