Not-really-a-review and giveaway: ‘Swallow’ by Tanya Plank

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. Without warning, Sophie feels a “fist-like” sensation forming at the base of her throat, rendering her unable to speak, swallow or — in this case — act excited. About, you know, the proposal.

From the book’s description, Sophie is suffering from a psychological condition called “Globus Sensate,” and you know what, friends?

It turns out I’m a hypochondriac.

The more I read Plank’s specific prose about a condition that seems, for all intents and purposes, to be completely in Sophie’s mind, the more I mysteriously felt like my own throat was closing. Call it engaging writing. Call me a lunatic. Whatever you’d like to say, it got to the point that I couldn’t pick up Swallow without — well . . . without feeling like I couldn’t swallow.

The rest of the novel’s description boasts “cast of characters that includes a pornographer father, a sister with a knack for getting knocked up by denizens of the town pen, a painter of male nudes, an eccentric Sing Sing-residing client, a tough-talking fashion maven and a bevy of privileged Manhattan lawyers and judges,” and I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty interesting to me. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t make it that far — which I hate, because I actually had grown to care about Sophie.

The novel has garnered many positive ratings on Goodreads and LibraryThing, and given a 4/5 by Violet at Violet Crush.


Because I still believe Swallow could find a happy home with a different reader, I’m offering my (very gently) read copy for one winner in the U.S.! Simply fill out this form by Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 12 p.m. I’ll randomly choose a winner and send you an e-mail for your address.

Update on Sept. 22: Patricia is the randomly-chosen winner! Thanks to all who entered — and Patricia, I’ll be emailing you shortly!

12 thoughts on “Not-really-a-review and giveaway: ‘Swallow’ by Tanya Plank

  1. Great “review”! I’m sure the book must be written very realistically if if did that to you!

    Hope you’re lump is gone now… What are you reading next? Soldiers with ghost limbs? 🙂


    • Haha — let’s hope no soldiers with ghost limbs make an appearance! I’m going with some lighter reading now: a love story, Harriet Evans’ I Remember You. No lumps or battles in that one!


  2. This has got to be the most novel reason for a DNF ever! Swallow sounds like an interesting read – I can’t enter (I’m in Canada) but good luck to everyone who does!


  3. OK, this is one of the reasons why I think you’re great…your unabashed honesty about yourself is like a breath of fresh, cool air on a muggy day.


  4. First, please DON’T enter me in the giveaway : not only because I’m in Canada, but because I am also an hypochondriac! I have it more under control now, but I still can’t read about sicknesses and such.
    That’s really honest of you to share this with your readers. Here’s a virtual hug for you! (hug)


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