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The Girls at 17 Swann Street

Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 7 hrs and 49 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4.5 out of 5 stars (102 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"[Narrator Saskia Maarleveld's] tour de force reading perfectly encapsulates Anna’s anxieties, shame, and overwhelming guilt at failing to achieve perfection" — Booklist, starred review

"A singular celebration of the lifesaving power of community and small gestures." (New York Times Book Review)

A People Pick for Best New Books

Yara Zgheib’s poetic and poignant debut novel is a haunting portrait of a young woman’s struggle with anorexia on an intimate journey to reclaim her life. 

The chocolate went first, then the cheese, the fries, the ice cream. The bread was more difficult, but if she could just lose a little more weight, perhaps she would make the soloists’ list. Perhaps if she were lighter, danced better, tried harder, she would be good enough. Perhaps if she just ran for one more mile, lost just one more pound. 

Anna Roux was a professional dancer who followed the man of her dreams from Paris to Missouri. There, alone with her biggest fears - imperfection, failure, loneliness - she spirals down anorexia and depression till she weighs a mere 88 pounds. Forced to seek treatment, she is admitted as a patient at 17 Swann Street, a peach pink house where pale, fragile women with life-threatening eating disorders live. Women like Emm, the veteran; quiet Valerie; Julia, always hungry. Together, they must fight their diseases and face six meals a day. 

Yara Zgheib's poetic and poignant debut novel is a haunting, intimate journey of a young woman's struggle to reclaim her life. Every bite causes anxiety. Every flavor induces guilt. And every step Anna takes toward recovery will require strength, endurance, and the support of the girls at 17 Swann Street. 

©2019 Yara Zgheib (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Heartbreaking and beautiful...a brave book, stark in its realism, yet tempered by its lyrical prose." (Diane Chamberlain, New York Times best-selling author of The Dream Daughter)

"Powerful and poetic...Zgheib's lyrical, dreamlike style...will resonate with fans of Wally Lamb's and Anne Tyler's novels and Augusten Burrough's memoirs." (Booklist)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Strong Message

Strong message, good storyline. Sort of reminded me of an autobiography. Could tell that this is an issue that the author is passionate about or can relate to.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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So True to Life

I am amazed how true to life this book is. Having a family member with an eating disorder this book was able to help me understand there daily struggles and how they actually feel every day of their lives.

I highly recommend you read the book if you know of someone or have a family member struggling with an eating disorder so that you have a better understanding of what an eating disorder is.

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Wonderful

A beautiful novel depicting the shaking reality behind mental illness including eating disorders and mood disorders. The struggles patients have going through ordinary, daily simple tasks, the challenges they and their loved ones go through. The rumination, the reality of relapsing, how the world, and, even their loved ones can misunderstand their behavior etc... all painted in beautiful poetic words. As much as it was rough going through every piece of it, I loved it and would highly recommend it.

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Lovely, painful, beautifully written

Beautifully written, so heartfelt. I felt her pain every time she took a bite of that bagel. A beautiful read.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Close to home

This story hit close to home. It was difficult to listen to at times because of the narrower but the story was touching

0 of 1 people found this review helpful