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The Girls at 17 Swann Street

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  8,576 ratings  ·  2,026 reviews
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 dan
Hardcover, 373 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by St. Martin's Press
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Danielle I googled “pellagra” (what Anna mentioned when she saw Valerie’s hands) and apparently, the dermatitis is often accompanied by diarrhea and dementia. …moreI googled “pellagra” (what Anna mentioned when she saw Valerie’s hands) and apparently, the dermatitis is often accompanied by diarrhea and dementia. I assumed that’s what could’ve cause the accident and erratic behavior.(less)
Nicole You should check and see if your public library has a copy (either digital or in print). That's how I read this book.…moreYou should check and see if your public library has a copy (either digital or in print). That's how I read this book.(less)

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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  8,576 ratings  ·  2,026 reviews

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Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, 2019-releases
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

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
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Angela M
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 b ...more
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 poignant and inspiring stars for The Girls at Swann Street

Anna 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 a
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 dama ...more
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
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
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley

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 more on how the earlier events in her life le
Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
My name is Anna and I am twenty-six and anorexic. I have not always been; I used to want things and do things. Now I am not sure how much of me still exists.

I apologize if I get a little too personal with this review, but this story made me tear up.

The Girls at 17 Swann Street is fictional yet nonetheless real. Yara Zgheib introduces us to twenty-six-year-old Anna, a former ballerina who has been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. At 17 Swann Street, Anna sees that she isn’t the only o
Larry H
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 t
j e w e l s
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Like 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 t
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Happy publication date to another one of my 2018 favorites! Get this on your list!!!

Oh my gosh.... I don't even know if I will be able to give this novel justice through this review but I will sure try!

The Girls at 17 Swann Street is a breathtakingly beautiful novel that opens your eyes to the demons of eating disorders. Yara Zgheib swept me off my feet with her words that left me haunted, raw, and teary eyed throughout this entire novel.

The story begins with 26 year old Anna entering 17 Swann
A hauntingly powerful story alive with heartbreak and hope!

Yara Zgheib’s debut is a stunning story resplendent with compassion and heart! An important story, a story that needed to be told, and that could not have been told any better than it was in this book...Miss Zgheib handles the tough and emotional subject of eating disorders with a gentle and loving hand... she handles the subject in a realistic and raw manner, but never lost sight of or compassion for those who suffer.... approximately
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
This was as beautiful as I’d hoped it would be.

17 Swann Street…It’s the peachy pink house where patients with eating disorders are sent for treatment, not always by their own decision; the condition is so insidious, it can be difficult to decide that for yourself.

Anna Roux arrives at Swann Street as a former professional dancer. She gets sicker and sicker and finds herself weighing less than ninety pounds. At the house, she meets Emm, Valerie, and Julia. They seek comfort together and walk the
Diane S ☔
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lor-2019
A haunting look at a disease that is so hard to overcome. I'm far from knowledgeable about those who struggle with anorexia, have no personal connection to anyone who has, what I know comes from reading about the subject. How it effects everyone who cares or loves the person, how hard it is to watch a loved one melting away, and not able to do anything that helps. I just can't imagine the pain.

The pressure on our girls, on us a women to be thin is a terrible thing. Some vocations though value th
Meredith B.  (readingwithmere)
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars, rounded down!

The stomachache worsened. She thought of Philippe. Who had found her pretty, just not enough. Smart and elegant, but not enough. Philippe, who had told her "I love you" and "Do you really want that slice of cake?"

This is a powerful debut Novel by Yara Zgheib and it's a story that really stirred up some emotions in me.

Anna is a twenty-six year old married woman who has moved from Paris to St. Louis to follow her husband's career. In Paris, she was a ballet dancer. She
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
I was fortunate to be asked by the book publisher to head to NETGALLEY and check out this book. I am so very glad that I did. The main plot is driven by the fact that the main character, Anna Roux, a professional French dancer, married for three years, is battling anorexia nervosa. Now, I have read a few books and watched a lot of movies about anorexia and bulimia and they are mostly portrayed by teenage girls. So it was very refreshing to see how this disease gradually takes over an adult woma ...more
Katie B
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Anna has struggled with anorexia for years and moves in to a live in treatment facility for women battling eating disorders. The book is described as having a lyrical quality to it and I admit I was a bit leery at first because that isn't something I typically like. However, because the subject matter is so heavy it actually worked in the book's favor as it made the tough parts slightly easier to take because they were broken up a bit.

I thought this was a pretty realistic portrayal of a woman w
You will find many heart wrenching, glowing reviews on Goodreads for The Girls at 17 Swann Street. This is not be one of them. As great as the story itself was, it did not resonate as it should have with me. Let me explain….

For those who are unaware, this book is about a home for women and teens with eating disorders, primarily anorexia and bulimia and the women who live there. We are privy to their thoughts and feelings about food, about their private lives, what might have brought them to this
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 tragic heart breaking stars

Our striving to be thin has become an obsession. We indulge in costly diet plans, spend hours exercising, cut our food intake, all because the image of success and beauty is a thin body. If you are a dancer, a figure skater, a gymnast, or any other athlete, weight is the foremost idea in you mind. Don't gain an ounce, don't get any taller, don't grow and most of all don't eat. In this book, The Girls At Swann Street, we are taken into the life of a young woman, Ann
Carol (Bookaria)
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A harrowing novel about a twenty-six year old Parisian girl battling anorexia. Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down.

It opens up with Anna, the main character, as she checks into 17 Swann Street, a residence that provides treatment to women with eating disorders. The name "Anna" is not random, many sufferers refer to anorexia as "ana". 

The illness, the center, and the characters are depicted in a complex and compassionate light. The author did and excellent job describing the
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a stunning and raw look inside the mind of a woman that suffers from anorexia nervosa.

"I do not suffer from anorexia. I have anorexia. The two states are not the same. I know my anorexia, I understand it better than the world around me."

Anna is a young Parisian woman with ambitions to become a ballet dancer. Unfortunately, she never seems to make the cut. When her husband, Matthias, is offered a job in the United States they take the opportunity and Anna hopes that maybe, possibly
Dec 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Thank you to St. Martin's Press who provided an advance reader copy via NetGalley.

Anna Roux of Paris succeeded in her dream of becoming a ballerina, despite the fact that she didn't have the ideal body type or physique. Her lover Philippe (who she was having an affair with) scrutinized her every bite. If only she would diet a bit more, exercise harder, she would be awarded with the best ballet roles. But, he didn't really love Anna and she was never good enough. It never became more clear than w
Louise Wilson
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 she spirals down anorexia and depression till she weighs a mere 88 pounds. Her husband, Matthais finds her unconscious on the bathroom floor and she has been put in a residential treatment centre for people with eating disorders.

If your looking for a happy ever after story, this book is not for you. I shed a tear a few times w
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anorexia nervosa is a horrible disease that touches so many people. It doesn't just take over your body and mind, but it also impacts on those that are close to you, family, friends and work colleagues. In this story, we take a journey of Anna’s life and her fight with anorexia and what a battle it really is. My heart truly went out to Anna and the other girls who she shared a room with at the treatment clinic.

After reading this book I got a much better understanding of what this horrible disea
Lisa Gardner
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advanced Reading Copy. Given that I’m a suspense novelist, this was a different sort of novel, being the story of a 26-year old woman suffering from anorexia. I’m drawn to books with strong characters, however, and this novel grabbed me from the first page. Anna, her story, how she got to this point in her life, is so haunting. The entire cast of characters from
Anna’s loving but bewildered husband to the other girls in treatment keep you riveted. If you
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

(^^^It doesn’t count as quoting the ARC if it was written by someone else over 100 years ago *wink*)

I had zero intention of ever picking up The Girls at 17 Swann Street until I started noticing the ratings my friends were passing out to it around mid to late January. I wil
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
A beautiful yet haunting tale of Anna’s struggle to eat and to survive.


Anna Roux was a professional dancer who followed the man of her dreams from Paris to St. Louis, Missouri. There, alone with her biggest fears —imperfection, failure, loneliness—she spirals down anorexia and depression until 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 disorder
Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
I have a special interest in mental health and it's one area of our health I am most sensitive to. Anorexia nervosa is a psychological disorder that I haven't explored that much of or understand that well. I thought Yara Zgheib did such a great job taking us into the mind of our main character Anna as she reclaims her life in the life-threatening stage of anorexia.

I was deeply moved by this haunting, raw and honestly written story. I feared and rooted for Anna and the girls. I started to see ho
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Pain manifested into self loathing.

What I knew about anorexia is based on after school specials from my youth and that the incomparable songbird, Karen Carpenter, lost her life due to its effects. And while I may intellectually understand that this is a maladaptive means to cope with emotions, this book laid bare what it is to live with this twisted view of one’s self, how those afflicted perceive the world and it was both absorbing and agonizing.

The author writes about anorexia with such au
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Yara Zgheib is a Fulbright scholar with a Masters degree in Security Studies from Georgetown University and a PhD in International Affairs in Diplomacy from Centre D'études Diplomatiques et Stratégiques in Paris. She is fluent in English, Arabic, French, and Spanish. Yara is a writer for several US and European magazines, including The Huffington Post, The Four Seasons Magazine, A Woman’s Paris, T ...more

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