[ Audible ] The Girls at 17 Swann Street Author Yara Zgheib – Kairafanan.co

The Chocolate Went First, Then The Cheese, The Fries, The Ice Cream The Bread Was Difficult, But If She Could Just Lose A Little 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 Mile, Lost Just One PoundAnna 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 Eighty Eight Pounds Forced To Seek Treatment, She Is Admitted As A Patient At 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 DayYara 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 Swann Street

10 thoughts on “The Girls at 17 Swann Street

  1. says:

    My reviews can also be seen at I was really looking forward to reading this novel I had some things to get done, so I thought I would just read a few pages and come back to it But once I picked it up, I didn t want to put it down, and before I knew it, I was finishing the last page and closing the book The book begins as twenty six year old Anna Roux is moving into Bedroom 5 at 17 Swann Street.Anna is originally from France She is a dancer but hasn t danced since she hurt her leg When her husband, Matthias receives a job offer to work in the United States, Anna decides it s a good thing Her leg will heal and she will dance in the U.S But after the move, things started to change.Anna is in love with her husband and he loves her I have books to read, places to see, babies to make, birthday cakes to taste I even have unused birthday wishes to spare So what am I doing here Anna used to love roller coasters, ice cream, and french fries.Anna doesn t think she has a problem I am twenty six years old My body feels sixty two Will Anna recover Will her marriage survive I was engrossed in Anna s story but I was also intrigued by the other characters stories and what led them to 17 Swann Street Many of the other patients are also living with anorexia, but some suffer from other disorders such as bulimia less evident but just as lethal as anorexia.I ve read quite a few books about teens and eating disorders But this novel was a little different Anna is twenty six and 17 Swann Street is a women s treatment center I felt the author did an excellent job of showing how someone could suffer from these issues for many years but in some cases, the disorders may show up later.I love the way the story is written It is told from Anna s perspective with alternating chapters telling the story of her life, her relationship with her husband, and how she ended up at 17 Swann Street Clinic intake and assessment forms, treatment plans, and meal plans are interspersed throughout the novel.This was a well written novel that gave a realistic and heartbreaking look at an illness that robs its victims and their loved ones of so much So often family and friends suffer along with the patient This novel was emotional and enlightening, and the story brought me to tears on than one occasion.I really enjoyed this novel and I m looking forward to reading from Yara Zgheib.I d like to thank St Martin s Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

  2. says:

    Gut wrenching Sad Compassionate Hopeful Important.While this might be a work of fiction, there s an air of authenticity that feels similar to taking a punch to the gut At times, facing Anna s reality is uncomfortable and harrowing, but also eye opening and honest.While not everyone can understand what it means to battle anorexia I m the first to admit, I m an emotional eater we all as humans can sympathize with the underlying struggles, loss and regrets that often linger on the periphery of our conscience It s how we deal with those things that vary Reality is, sometimes we choose the wrong coping mechanisms, things that initially present themselves as stress relievers or worthy options to regain some semblance of control in our lives Those unhealthy alternatives becoming an addiction or disease that ultimately robs the best parts of life feeling, experiencing, and sometimes in the most extreme cases, being Yara Zgheib introduces readers to Anna, a former ballerina struggling with anorexia nervosa She s embarking on a journey to relinquish the control she s found in portioning, calorie restrictions and over exercising Quelling the negative self talk and anxiety that comes along with putting food in her mouth and actually swallowing feels insurmountable at times Especially when faced with a forced feeding schedule or the thought of a nasogastric feeding tube.It s in a house on 17 Swann Street surrounded by peach colored walls and women facing similar fights that Anna spends five weeks rediscovering her own will to live Over time, she comes to appreciate and accept the love and support her husband and father so willingly offer Things most of the women around her don t have Anna s story is one filled with hope and unwavering intensity you can t help but to root for her and each of the women that cross her path along the way The powerful message transcending the words typed across the pages where there s a will, there s a way There s no getting around the hard work or vulnerability that healing demands, but there s promise to be found in solidarity and accepting the support offered Anything is possible, you just have to want it bad enough for yourself And, who knows, one day, you might be the one offering the encouragement that makes a difference Because that is what we do. My one and only contention was with the presentation of the story Told through a series of vignettes snippets from Anna s past, present and a variety of treatment center forms as opposed to a full fledged, continuous timeline, resulted in somewhat of a choppy reading experience Thank you to St Martin s Press for providing a review copy.

  3. says:

    A compulsive read I started reading this book last night I read early this morning I read when I went the gym and I read this afternoon until I finished it I could not put it down, in spite of the fact that it s an emotionally difficult book to read I was taken to a place I have no understanding of, not just at 17 Swann Street, but I don t know what it s like to be anorexic and I ve never personally known anyone who was I was fully immersed into Anna Roux s life The narrative alternates between Anna s present in the residential recovery program at 17 Swann Street, to her past just before and then earlier when she meets and falls in love with her husband, to her childhood, then to the stark clinical description of her condition in her Treatment Plan notes, to her sessions with her psychiatrist and most poignant of all her thoughts.Anna s a ballet dancer, well she used to be Em was a gymnast, well she used to be Valerie, her first friend there was an A student , an Ivy League grad This could happen to anyone Friendships and bonds develop because they care about each other, understand each other and know the pain of putting the food in their mouths and swallowing it Anna sees that other girls circumstances are the same as hers in many ways, but she s lucky as one of the girls tells her, because she has someone to do this for, her husband Matthias who visits every evening at visiting hours when others have no one I won t rehash what happens at 17 Swann Street because I really recommend you find out for yourself Just be prepared It might make you cry like it did me, but I m still glad that I read this I couldn t stop thinking throughout that Yara Zgheib must have known this disease in order to so realistically convey how horrible it is and to make me understand in a way I could not possibly have understood Then I read this article, which is moving and heartfelt, and personal and it made this beautifully written book all the meaningful received an advanced copy of this book from St Martin s Press through NetGalley.

  4. says:

    4 poignant and inspiring stars for The Girls at Swann StreetAnna Riux is a professional ballet dancer Battling her emotional demons imperfection, loneliness, failure, guilt leads her on a dangerous downward spiral to anorexia and depression To say that Anna s harrowing journey to reclaim her life affected me would be an understatement There were moments of inner dialogue that left me with tears streaming down my face This may be a work of fiction but it was an intimate, heart wrenching and emotional look at battling eating disorders.I don t know about you but I have definitely had moments where my emotions fuel my eating feeling so anxious I can not eat or so emotional that I want to eat every sweet in sight We have all had moments where life feels out of our control How do you handle it When Anna felt like nothing was going her way she chose to control what she could her food intake 17 Swann Street gave us an insightful look at treatment It was hard to read about the forced high caloric intake meals, feeding tubes and limited access to bathrooms I felt for these women who were battling to save their lives The anxiety over something as seemingly innocuous as sitting in front of a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast was palpable I was moved by the love between Anna and her husband Mathias and the support both he and her father desperately provide With them championing her healing Anna was able to become vulnerable enough to make strides toward recovery I was touched by the support the women in the rehab house provided to each other Solidarity, understanding and encouragement are crucial to any recovery This is definitely an emotional read If you opt to pick it up be prepared you will not put it down unscathed Your emotions will be all over the place and your heart will be broken but you will come away stronger for having endured 17 Swann Street and sharing the journey of its inhabitants Thank you to Yara Zgheib, St Martin s Press and NetGalley for an arc of this amazing book.

  5. says:

    Yara Zgheib s heartbreaking and lyrical debut takes us into the world of eating disorders, how they can arise and the devastating impact on both sufferers and their circles of friends and family It begins with the 26 year old Anna Roux entering 17 Swann Street, a residential medical treatment house inhabited by vulnerable and fragile women As the narrative goes back and forth in time, we learn of Anna s dedication to her career as a professional ballet dancer in Paris, an ex boyfriend who damaged Anna s self esteem, her wonderfully loving husband, Matthias and her injured leg Matthias is offered a opportunity to work in Missouri in the United States which Anna is happy to support However, an isolated and lonely Anna is plagued by her insecurities and fears as her life spirals out of control with depression and anorexia, and she weighs a mere 88lbs.A young Anna feels like an old woman as Zgeib outlines the struggles of the women, their stories, their setbacks, and their support of each other We get insights into their complicated and distorted relationship with food, their inner world of anxieties, self destructive impulses, esteem issues and Matthias finds himself out of his depth and feeling helpless but he loves Anna, and it is this love that drives Anna s desire to get better Zgeib writes with humanity, compassion, knowledge and authenticity in her character driven portrayal of the mental health issues surrounding eating disorders I found this a raw, intense and emotional read which is brilliant in its characterisation and the medical issues it examines An excellent book which I recommend highly Many thanks to Beatrice and St Martin s Press for an ARC.

  6. says:

    I read this book in one day This is a powerful debut for Yara Zgheib The Girls at 17 Swann Street is a poignant and devastating look at eating disorders and how they affect one s life and their loved ones lives as well I used to eat I used to like to eat, then I grew scared to eat, ceased to eat Now my stomach hurts I have been anorexic so long that I have forgotten how to eat Anna Roux was a professional dancer who had to temporarily stop dancing due to an injury She thought she would be able to dance again after she and her husband, Matthais moved to the United States for his job Unfortunately, she was turned down many times and found a job as a cashier before succumbing to loneliness and depression while waiting for her husband to return home from work each day She is anorexic and eating causes anxiety She notes how her clothes are getting bigger and after her husband finds her unconscious on the bathroom floor, she enters a residential treatment center for women struggling with eating disorders.Through the course of the book, the reader is shown case notes, eating plans and Anna s thoughts The reader is shown her past, her relationship with her husband, the ex boyfriend who hurt her self esteem and self image, her family and her interactions with those at the residential treatment facility.This is not a happily ever after book I appreciated how the Author showed that this is something that will be a struggle for the main character throughout her life The Author showed us the characters unhealthy relationship with food, their mental health issues, self esteem issues, body image issues, and the serious and life threatening health issues that arise from having an eating disorder I thought the author painted a very realistic picture She showed that there will be struggles, that relapse can occur that the thoughts associated with eating will not change overnight and possibly may not entirely change , that this can be a lifelong battle I enjoyed how the story was told I immediately felt concern for Anna and was invested in learning what would happen to her and how she would react to being in the treatment center Fact from NAMI National Alliance on Mental Illness Studies show that 1 in 20 people will be affected at some point in their lives by an eating disorder From Mental Health AmericaIn the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder or EDNOS 1 EDNOS is now recognized as OSFED, other specified feeding or eating disorder, per the DSM 5 Anyone can develop an eating disorder regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity, culture, size, socioeconomic status or sexual orientation People are usually quick to take care of their physical health, but one s mental health is just as important People should never be ashamed to ask for or seek help for themselves or for their loved ones The stigma of mental health has been around for far too long and needs to stop Eating disorders are extremely serious as are all mental health issues and people need to educate themselves I don t know anyone who would look down on someone for having cancer, diabetes or heart disease, we should also not look down on or make fun of those with mental illness We should be kind, be supportive, offer to go to appointments with them, talk to them, learn about their diagnosis, etc.Overall, an enjoyable and haunting look at one woman s eating disorder and her time in a residential treatment facility There are many books out there the deal with eating disorders and I found this to be a very good one that tells the story with compassion I appreciated that things were not sugar coated nor were they brutally in your face either I am impressed that is a debut book I found it to be well written and again, I enjoyed the style in which it was written I found the case notes and meal plans to be a very nice touch.Thank you to St Martin s Press and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review The thoughts and opinions are my own.

  7. says:

    This is the first book I can remember being told from the perspective of an anorexic It elicited a mix of pity, anger and confusion in me I mean, I understood the whole control issue intellectually, but this gives it to you from an emotional front The chapters move between present day Anna, a history of how she arrived at needing treatment and the clinic s assessment forms The balance of it all works well I would have liked to have seen a little on how the earlier events in her life led her to succumb to this condition, but I also understand it could have made for a awkward storyline.The book also does a great job of showing the effects of the disease on an anorexic s loved ones The fear of confrontation causes Matthias to constantly look the other way, to pretend everything is ok The book doesn t pull any punches You see exactly how hard it is to fight this disease and how not all manage to do so This is an extremely well done debut novel and I will definitely seek out any future works by the author.My thanks to netgalley and St Martin s Press for an advance copy of this book.

  8. says:

    4.5 stars.Sometimes reading is less an entertaining experience than one intended to teach, to provoke emotions, and make you think That was definitely the case with Yara Zgheib s powerful The Girls at 17 Swann Street How does one forget how to eat How does one forget how to breathe Worse how does one remember And how does happiness feel Anna Roux is 26 years old She was a dancer in Paris, a profession which pays close attention to an individual s weight and appearance There was a time she lived life with great gusto, enjoying all her favorite foods, and cooking her specialty dessert, sacher torte And when she met the man of her dreams, Matthias, they enjoyed the finer things in life, punctuated by food, wine, and adventure.But after an injury sidelined her dance career, Anna agreed to follow Matthias to the U.S., where he had gotten a job in St Louis She dreamed of finding another dance opportunity, or at the very least, teaching dance But there were no opportunities to be found, and the time she spends alone, the depressed she gets, and the she starts worrying about her weight A job in a supermarket does little to lift her spirits or self esteem, and little by little, she gives up the foods she loves They had both become too comfortably settled in the magical kingdom of make believe She made believe that she was happy and all was fine and he made believe it was true It was less painful than confrontation Confrontation just led to fights And so she ate nothing and they both ate lies through three years of marriage, for peace, at the occasional cost of no roller coasters, no sharing ice cream and French fries As Anna s weight plummets, her health deteriorates, as does her relationship with Matthias When her weight hits a dangerous low 88 pounds she is admitted to 17 Swann Street, a residential program where women with life threatening eating disorders go for treatment Anna meets the other residents Emm, the self proclaimed leader of the girls, and the veteran of the house fragile, compassionate Valerie and Julia, who is always hungry These women face the challenge of constant supervision, counseling, giving up most freedoms, and the worst thing of all, they must eat six meals a day.Anna wants to recover, she wants her life and her husband back Yet the thought of having to eat so much food, especially fattening food like bagels and cream cheese, pasta, and yogurt, is absolutely paralyzing She cannot understand how she can survive when she s gotten by for so long with eating so little But and , she realizes that her life and her marriage are worth fighting for and they can only survive if she s willing to accept her problems and understand what kind of help she needs.This is such an emotionally powerful book Zgheib captures the emotional and psychological struggles faced by women with eating disorders, the immense discord that exists between knowing you have a problem and the powerlessness you feel to do anything about it It s also an eye opening look at how what we see about ourselves, those we love, and our memories is often so far from reality The Girls at 17 Swann Street is told in short chapters, alternating between Anna s memories of Paris, the early days of her relationship with Matthias, and the despair she began feeling when they moved to the U.S., and her time in treatment, her struggles to recover, and her relationships with the other women For me, this was an eye opening look at eating disorders and how they take their toll on women in particular, even when they know they need help Only 33% of women with anorexia nervosa maintain full recovery after nine months Of those, approximately one third will relapse after the nine month mark I ve struggled with my weight for most of my life, but I m fortunate that I ve never had to deal with the kind of problems the women in this book did I m grateful to Zgheib for such a powerful story and for illuminating the struggles that so many people, especially women, deal with every day.See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at You can follow me on Instagram at

  9. says:

    FIVE STARSLike any disease, anorexia sneaks up on tiptoes Quiet as a lamb Anorexia is not wanted and most patients express surprise that they have fallen victim to such a hideous illness Once diagnosed, the patient is usually very near death It takes no less than a miracle to beat anorexia, all the odds are in the opposite direction.THE GIRLS AT 17 SWANN STREET is one of the most affecting stories I ve ever read It s not just a tale of eating disorders, it s a tale of women fighting for their self identities You may not have ever struggled with eating or body dysmorphia, but, I will go out on a limb here and suggest most readers will relate to the characters in the book We all have those daily emotional battles fought in our own head, right Yara Zgheib has captured the emotions so beautifully, the book can only be read through the tears in your eyes The language is delicate and poetic, it s completely mesmerizing This is not to say it is a sad book I found it to be a story of hope, love and discovery Absolutely riveting from the first page, I could not put it down I would wholeheartedly recommend it to lovers of contemporary fiction or even self help mental health fans Thank you very much to the author and Netgalley for my early copy The book is slated for a Feb 5, 2019 release date All opinions are my own.

  10. says:

    Anorexia A disease that is both a killer of the body but also of the mind An illness that is as prevalent today as it has been for years.This is the story of Anna Her journey of suffering and her journey to healing at 17 Swann street where other residents are trying to recover A view to the thoughts that go on and the fears and phobias created The shame and guilt that accompany each mouthful As small as it is as slowly as it is chewed.The small victories for every snack and meal consumed.The road to recovery is long and is not always successful.Once thought to be only prevalent among females, this disease does strike the male population My son was diagnosed with anorexia 2 years ago And although it was caught early, the destructive behaviours of mental illness still hold a place in our home Mental Illness is now accepted as a disease thankfully to the organizations that have pushed and educated the public as wellAs the organizations that have put programs in place to not only those who suffer, but to the very families and friends who support them 5