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  • Amazing

    An amazing book that I could not put down. The story follows Anna through the treatment of anorexia in the treatment center at 17 Swann Street. It deals with the emotional and physical challenges that these women are going through. It just broke my heart. This is a debut author that told a beautiful story of Anna rediscovering her life. I believe this book should be read by every teenage girl. I highly recommend this book!!

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    10 person found this review helpful

    10 people found this review helpful

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Disappointing

    What attracted me to this book was the fact that it was about a ballerina. Anna, the ballerina suffered a knee injury and had to be sidelined for a while and was suffering from anorexia. Anna and her husband, Matthias, were living in Paris and he was offered a job in the United States which he accepted. Once in the US, Anna enters a residential treatment center for eating disorders at a weight of 88 pounds. There are 6 other women in the center with eating disorders. I was disappointed in this book. I did not care for the characters and/or the people working at the facility. I had a hard time getting into this book and I am not sure how accurate the treatment delivered at the center was. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book.

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    3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Heart wrenching beautiful story you must read

    Many thanks to NetGalley, St Martin’s Press, and Yara Zgheib for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy. Rating 4.5 stars. The Girls at 17 Swann Street is a heart-wrenching, punch-in-the-gut, story about a young woman with anorexia. Zgheib gives an honest, raw account of the struggles that women with an eating disorder face while trying to battle this disease. This is not the first that I have read on this subject matter, as I studied and wrote about it during my academic years, but this story had a huge impact on me. I found it so effective that Zgheib chose to do it through fiction, crafting a story that looks behind the curtain, at the core of this sickness, destroying the myths that surround it, the highs and lows, and the different manifestations of the disease, the toll it takes on their bodies, their family members, and the different outcomes that may come to pass. This is an up close and personal story of Anna, as she faces her demons, trying to get well. When we meet Anna she is 88 pounds and after passing out and being in the hospital has decided to voluntarily check herself into a home that helps women with eating disorders. There are strict rules that she must follow, with consequences if she doesn’t. For example, she must eat all of the required food, in an allotted amount of time. After three refusals you get the feeding tube (which is horrific - yuch!). Now it might not seem difficult for you or I, to eat a bagel and cream cheese within 30 minutes, but to someone who is sick, the battle of trying to force it down is real. And they have to eat 3 times a day and two snacks. To hear what goes on inside a person’s head was excruciating. At some point, they all break down and can’t do it. What’s interesting is that she would say I am a vegetarian, I don’t eat dairy, just give me a substitute and I didn’t really understand why they didn’t accommodate her. I was with Anna, I thought the nutritionist was a horrible person. If she wanted vegetarian, why force her? But as you go along the journey, you begin to understand that none of it was true and that Anna actually LOVED bagels and cream cheese. It was the disease talking, not Anna. With flashback scenes, we get to hear Anna’s story and how she got to arrive at 17 Swann Street. We meet all kinds of girls at the home, some bulimic, some repeat customers so to speak. One girl had been going to Swann Street for four years. All heartbreaking stories of different manifestations of this disease. Some don’t make it. But the love and support that the girls give to each other was incredible. You begin to understand how they need the routine. Anna knows she is lucky because she has a family and husband who love her, who give her a reason to get better. Anna begins to realize how this has impacted all of them, how she withdrew from life, how incredibly strong you have to be to overcome and what it will take to get better. Will Anna make it? We hope so. Unlike an alcoholic, who can simply remove alcohol from their life, food is constant and you need to eat to live. It is something you have to deal with every day. I loved this story. It reaches inside you and touches your heart. You can’t help but root for these girls. This is one story you won’t want to miss.

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    1 person found this review helpful

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  • Very interesting read

    I think she nails this. It's a bit like Lisa Genova and her ability to write about Alzheimer's. Yara does a brilliant job of bringing anorexia totally alive in such a clear way. I loved all the threads and particularly the love story.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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