The Girls at 17 Swann Street

indexThe difficult subject of eating disorders is addressed in this novel by Yara Zgheib. Anna Roux is a former ballerina who has anorexia and due to various factors, weighs 88 pounds when she finally seeks treatment for her disease. Her husband has convinced her that she needs help, and she joins other women who suffer from anorexia and other disorders, such as bulimia and binge eating, at the house on Swann St. Anna is fortunate that she has the support of her husband, Matthias, and her father, who lives in France; there are several women at the house that are taken out by ambulance and never return. The author does a superb job of illustrating the life of an anorexic with Anna as the narrator. In a note at the end of the novel, Zgheib cautions the reader to seek help if she recognizes symptoms, or knows someone else who suffers from an eating disorder.

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