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.
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!