Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Swallow by Tonya Plank

Contemporary Fiction - December 2009 - Dark Swan Press - ISBN # 9780615280998

An intelligent accomplished appeals attorney thinks, feels and acts as if she were a positive nervous wreck. Sophie Hegel has had an astonishing education and now has a boyfriend others would die for! But Sophie is stressed out that she's got an overwhelming psychological problem manifesting in the feeling that she's got a huge lump in her throat causing an inability to swallow. It's not physical and so Tonya knows she needs help, but the assistance she needs isn't what she gets. For Sophie's story is quite unique from most "immature girl grows up into mature woman" tales. The reader gets to experience Sophie in all her flaws, faux pas, successful moments and all of those more often in-between moments.

The road to recovery isn't an easy one, and at one point it appears that Sophie's job as she begins to lose it, blurting out truthful albeit inappropriately timed comments in and out of court. While she is trying to overcome her swallowing problem, she's dropping massive amounts of weight. Her boyfriend, also a brilliant yuppie lawyer, is growing unhappy with Sophie's behavior. Readers will cheer at how she finally deals with the "perfect" Steven.Psychology associates disorders with some sort of major trauma from childhood, but how does one handle it when everyone in the family seems to remember a totally different version of pivotal memories? Sophie is initially brutal in dealing with her father and sister but slowly comes to perceive their past from their points of view as well as her own, launching the possibility of a very different future - perhaps...

The reader feels Sophie's pain and turmoil as Tonya Plank has managed to deftly present her character with no cover-ups but with an honest, engaging, tense presentation that opens a new window into the life of families, friends and the law profession.

Very nicely done, Ms. Plank!

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