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Swallow

by
3.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  201 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
A shy, young Manhattan attorney from a small-town, working-class background struggles with Globus Hystericus, the sensation of a ball in the throat, which makes it hard for her to eat, speak, and eventually breathe. This multiple-award-winning novel, at times darkly comical, centers on class privilege, gender equity, and the distance that can separate fathers and daughters ...more
ebook, 402 pages
Published March 31st 2010 by Smashwords Edition (first published December 11th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 493)
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Jessica
Sep 18, 2010 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The book had some promising sections, but overall the author seemed focused on the wrong topics. The character development was interesting though.
Al
Apr 23, 2011 Al rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, read-2011
I’ve put "Swallow" in the, “it’s not you, it’s me” file. I think that says more about me, or at least the kind of book I enjoy most, than it says about "Swallow." Plank’s writing style (her “writer’s voice” as people like saying) works well. The major characters were well defined and, in the case of Sophie, I liked her immediately. The premise of the story and plot is good. On a purely objective level – at least as close as I can get - this book has it all.

However, at a certain point I wanted to
...more
Laurel-Rain
Mar 08, 2010 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Swallow," by Tonya Plank, is one of those books that sounds frightening, and it is. But it is so much more!

From the first page, I was so fascinated that I simply could not put it down. It's a story about Sophie Hegel, a shy New York lawyer from a small Arizona town. She is a graduate of Yale Law School, an achievement that she doesn't seem to feel she deserved. She is excited about landing her first job handling appeals, and her engagement to the love of her life would seemingly forecast wonder
...more
Carol
Sep 04, 2010 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This is a great read. Kudos for the author. Sophie is a shy appeals attorney in New York City. She develops what she calls a FB (fist ball) in stressful situations. This feels to her like a fist sized ball in her throat and prevents her from talking, eating and eventually even breathing. This story alternated between narration and conversation making it very easy to follow what happens. I was hooked from page one and could barely lay the book down. When you read the book, you are right there wit ...more
Cheryl
Aug 23, 2010 Cheryl rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sophie recently graduated from Yale. She got a job working as an appeals attorney. It seems that Sophie has everything made or so she thought. Sophie’s world gets turned upside down when at dinner with her boyfriend, Stephen, Sophie suddenly feels her throat close up and she can’t swallow. There is a fist size ball in Sophie’s throat.

Sophie goes to Dr. Ames for her problem. Dr. Ames forces Sophie to deal with her childhood and growing up with a father for a porn producer. All the while dealing
...more
Christy Stewart
There is this new cliche in chick-lit of a professional woman making her way in the big city while still being that small town girl at heart. This book is that cliche. The hardest thing to do with a cliche is to use it in a market that is saturated with it in a way that works without being satirical, but that's what Plank does.

This is a character driven story with a lead that has enough personality and vulnerability that you easily place yourself in her role, and it gets you coming back to it ju
...more
Christina
No stars. Terrible. The author lives by the motto: when you've run out of ideas and can't tie up an ending, have the Towers fall.
Trupti Dorge
Aug 16, 2010 Trupti Dorge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
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 her
...more
Patricia Rockwell
Dec 22, 2010 Patricia Rockwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a well-written book with an engaging heroine. Unfortunately, I found it difficult to emphathize with her psychosomatic problem (the inability to swallow food). This may be because I have no problem swallowing food and can't imagine anyone having such a problem. Maybe it's because the heroine--Sophie--is a young, thin, sophisticated New York lawyer--about as far away from what I am as one could get.

The author creates a group of colorful and entertaining supporting characters for Sophie a
...more
Candy
Dec 30, 2010 Candy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When asked to review this one, I was very intrigued by the description. The idea that someone cannot swallow food is beyond my overweight brain's ability to understand. *laughing* Seriously, though... it's a very real and very scary condition and the book did make me go look up stuff about it because it really does sound horrible.

The writing is excellent. The author's narrative voice is outstanding. I think the downfall comes with the dialogue. It's a bit stilted and at times I felt like I had n
...more
Meg
Tanya Plank’s Swallow is currently sitting within arm’s reach, discarded after I finished the first 60 pages.

I couldn’t go any further.

But not for the reasons you might think.

Sophie Hegel is a quiet attorney who has arrived in New York City by way of a small Arizona town. Settled in a committed relationship, she’s a Yale Law grad trying to fight the good fight — but often losing, and all because of a curious ailment that seems to strike out of nowhere. Like the night her boyfriend proposes. With
...more
Elizabeth A.
Jun 03, 2010 Elizabeth A. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like so many times since arriving on the East Coast, I realized that, for all the oohs and aahs I received back home for my accomplishments, they amounted to absolutely nada here. – Sophie Hegel

It’s hard to believe that someone who graduated from Yale Law School and landed a prestigious fellowship with the New York City Public Defender’s Office could think her accomplishments amount to “nada,” but when we meet Sophie Hegel at the beginning of author Tonya Plank’s debut novel, Swallow, Sophie is
...more
Misty Baker
I wish I had a witty way to start this review. Some sort of statistic, or life experience I could compare the content to, but this time… I’m at a loss. This was probably one of the weirdest books I have read in quite some time, but regardless of the odd physical portrayal of anxiety, or the awkward and eclectic list of characters, I still found that I couldn’t put it down.

Sophia is a small town girl, but only at heart. In reality she’s a high-powered criminal lawyer living in New York with her e
...more
Michele Tater
Aug 27, 2010 Michele Tater rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book Title: Swallow
Author: Tonya Plank
Publisher: Dark Swan Press
ISBN: 9780615280998
Reviewed by Michele Tater for Review The Book

“Gradually, I come to realize that people will readily swallow lies than truth, as if the taste of lies was homey, appetizing: a habit.”
-Martha Gellhorn

The above mentioned quote could describe the reason for the affection that plagues Sophie Hegel, the main character in the book “Swallow”, by Tonya Plank. Sophie is a small town girl who went to an ivy league law school
...more
Jess
Jun 13, 2011 Jess rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a painfully stupid book where the only character even close to likable was a cat.... And the cat was only mentioned in a couple pages of 394. This book is described as 'multiple award winning' and 'centering on gender equity and class priviledge', but mostly just seemed to be about one incredibly pathetic girl who blames her anger and inability to deal with anxiety on everyone else she has surrounded herself with. Absolutely nothing was resolved by the end of this and I found the language t ...more
Deborah
Rated 5 stars
“ Tanya Plank is a fantastic writer of the young, priviledged, slightly disturbed and disoriented New York professionals. She's the voice of the over-educated, preppie, ivy-leagued-to-the-max, "now what do I do to one-up everyone" generation. She "gets it" and she's telling!! LOL

I thought her author's voice--her book was hilarious and riveting! It helps to know these Harvard-types she writes about, but I think anyone can understand a pompous person when they see or hear one...or re
...more
Kristen Connors
Oct 22, 2012 Kristen Connors rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I really don't see it as a book that many people would enjoy. I thought it was fantastic though. I guess the plot was pretty slow; a woman in a steady relationship with a budding career in law (she attends Yale University) and strong friendships. The twist of the book is that everyone surrounding her believes that she has a serious eating disorder. Whenever she tries to eat or drink a "fist-ball", as she calls it, swells up inside her throat and she can barely swallow without bursting into tears ...more
Kristina
Aug 23, 2010 Kristina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an enjoyable read for me! There was a psychological tone to the book which really tied everything going on together. Once you meet "FB" in the book you really start to see how other people affect you in ways that you wouldn't think.

I enjoyed Sophie's character for the most part. At first, I kept wondering why heck she didn't stand up for herself! There were a few characters that I totally despised through the entire book. But...these characters are what make a story interesting. *shrug*
...more
Katrina
Oct 10, 2010 Katrina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ellen
Like others have said, I got this book because it was free for Kindle and had an interesting description. Aside from the psychosomatic lump in Sophie's throat, this is pretty stereotypical chick lit. Smart, beautiful woman with no self-confidence and relationship problems with family, friends and boyfriend somehow gets it together and rises above it all. It was too long and drawn out and everything was too neatly and abruptly tied up in the end. I gave this three stars because I couldn't stop re ...more
Sara
Feb 02, 2011 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-on-kindle
Downloaded this because it was cheap on Amazon. I'd give this more of a 2.5 than a 3. To be honest, I thought the majority of the book was good, but it lost me from "911" to the end. The reason? From that chapter on, the book reads like the author had a deadline that the book was due the night before and she just crammed everything together. While I think this might have been done on purpose (perhaps to make the impact of September 11th a little more real to the reader?), I thought it came acros ...more
Danielle Woodman
Jan 22, 2012 Danielle Woodman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this, all the characters seemed to offer something different and although its not the sort of book I would normally read I was hooked from the first page. I seemed to relate with Sophie, the main character having suffered from anxiety myself and was willing her to stand up for herself. The only part I was disappointed with was the ending, I actually flipped back and forth the last page as it seemed like there was a chapter missing but no it just finished there and then.
O
...more
Holly
Apr 11, 2012 Holly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book that shows how stress can affect you in many way. The main character gets ball in her thought brought on by stress. She can barely eat or drink in the end. (note -my nephew had this same condition in his teens due to stress. The only thing he could eat a milkshake.
The main character's condition improves by removing the stressful things in her life- if if they were very important things in her life.
Nice easy read.
Heather
May 19, 2011 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: electronic
I liked the earlier stages of this book far more than the ending. I felt it was building strongly to something and then just fizzled. The characters seemed real and interesting, although some of Sophie's reactions to people (especially her boyfriend Stephen) didn't ring true to me. Overall, interesting and I'd like to read more of Tonya Plank's work.
Amber
Jun 18, 2014 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly engaging. The flawed heroine's emotional-turned-physiological battles have us rooting for her as everything progressively gets worse. She's not perfect, but she's determined, and her eventual détente with forces beyond her control gives the rest of us some much needed hope for our futures.
Tiffani
Baldly shows that even privileged white women aren't always good enough for men. The boyfriend in this book is a disgusting person, a carcicature I think is necessary in a story like this. The most moving part of the book is the description of NYC during the September 11th terrorist attacks. Wow.
Melissa
Oct 01, 2010 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this. There were so many things I liked including the main character Sophie. The struggle she goes through, the people she puts up with, wow! This has definitely left a lasting impression on me. I'm glad I read this!
Ben Prior
Feb 14, 2013 Ben Prior rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The main character was a shallow twit that failed to engage my sympathy. All the other characters around her seemed to spend their time snickering or screaming unexplainably. Stay away from this one.
Claire
Oct 19, 2013 Claire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting concept. A story written around the central character's difficulty dealing with things, which metamorphoses as her feeling like she has a fit-sized lump in her throat.
Kat
Sep 05, 2010 Kat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow to start, but gets better as it goes on. It had a great ending, but I wasn't a fan of the writing style- it was too conversational/casual.
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Tonya Plank grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, but spent most of her adult life in New York, working as a criminal appeals attorney. After she’d had enough of that, she moved back out West to focus on writing. She currently lives in Southern California and writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction.

While working as a lawyer, Tonya developed a passion for ballroom dancing, which rekindled her childh
...more
More about Tonya Plank...

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