This wasn't the easiest book for me to pick up. I read the first two (short) chapters a week ago, then set it down. It hit me as emotionally heavy. But, I picked it back up last night, and was surprised at how quickly it gripped me. I read the entirety of this one in 24 hours (despite it being a workday). I couldn't not. It's been awhile since I was this sucked into a book.
The Girls at 17 Swann Street centers around an eating-disorder treatment center. Much of it reads like a diary entry, or a confessional, from Anna. A former dancer, a French expat, and a wife, Anna has anorexia. And that's brought her to Swann Street. I cared about her, and the rest of the characters, so deeply - truly, I'd have read another 500 pages about them. The writing itself was great, and I'm left eagerly awaiting Zgheib's next novel. That this is a debut? Outstanding.
(And I loved the Author's Note.)