Book Review: The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib (ARC)

“I am a child in a body that grew up too soon, found adulthood and real life a scam, and now is trying to lose enough weight to lift off the ground, fly away.”

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 eighty-eight 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.

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. (Goodreads)


Big thanks to NetGalley for giving me a copy of this wonderful book in exchange for an honest review 💕

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

This may just be my fave read of the month! This book is so beautifully written, and the main character has such a compelling voice that I could not put it down. It is filled with lovely vignettes that really enhances the reading experience.

“She just looks very sad. And like most anorexics she looks like she is trying to starve the feeling out.”

I have been fascinated with anorexia since I read The Vegetarian by Han Kang. As much as that novel was a mesmerizing, surreal experience, The Girls at 17 Swann Street has impressed me not only with its lyrical writing but with hard facts that really helped me understand the disease. This novel is such an eye opener: anorexia is not just about lack of self confidence or vanity. It is a mental health illness that has to be addressed or else it will have deadly consequences.

“Every patient is a tragedy here.”

I spent the whole time reading this book rooting for the main character and all the girls at 17 Swann St. I laughed and I cried with them. It is really an intense experience. This is a must read if you like stories about fighting your own demons and celebrating life. It teaches that not only should we learn to love ourselves, but also take responsibility for those that love us. 🌸

“We exist because we matter to someone, to anyone.”

Overall rating: 4/5⭐️

5 thoughts on “Book Review: The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib (ARC)

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