The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib

The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib

The Girls at 17 Swann Street.jpg

The Girls at 17 Swann Street
by Yara Zgheib
Hardcover, 384 pages
St. Martin’s Press (February 5, 2019)
Advance copy provided by publisher

A very important person in my life is a recovering alcoholic-addict; just like the characters of The Girls at 17 Swann Street, this person suffers from a debilitating disease. In the book, the “women of Swann Street” suffer from various eating disorders, and are residents at an inpatient treatment facility. Like so many others in the world, they have each discovered a coping mechanism that provides temporary relief, in spite of the pain it causes both them and their loved ones. 

Slow, mindful breaths. This is so painful that I almost laugh at the situation. Here I am, about to have a breakdown over a bagel and cream cheese.

There is so much that I can relate to in this book not only because of my involvement with an individual who uses unhealthy behaviors for coping, but also because of my own history with disordered eating and other unhealthy coping mechanisms. I love that author Yara Zgheib includes, as characters in the novel, members of the patient’s families and demonstrates how they are affected by the decisions of their loved ones; this is always a challenging situation. 

There is no tragedy to suffering. It is, just as happiness is. To be present for both, that is life, I think.

While there are certainly triggers here for anyone who may be actively struggling with/recovering from disordered eating, (so please be mindful!) this is an absolutely beautiful, well-written portrayal of the struggles many individuals endure and The Girls of 17 Swann Street is a book that will certainly stick with me for quite some time; highly recommend! 

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