Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour

The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib @StMartinsPress @MacmillanAudio #bookreview #audiobook

Happy Tuesday and happy publication day to this beautiful story!

I am so delighted to be part of the blog tour and share with you today my review for this hauntingly exquisite story guaranteed to pull at your heartstrings!💛🦢

  • The Girls at 17 Swann Street

  • By: Yara Zgheib
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
  • Length: 7 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 02-05-19
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio

My Thoughts

A hauntingly powerful story alive with heartbreak and hope!

Yara Zgheib’s debut is a stunning story resplendent with compassion and heart! An important story, a story that needed to be told, and that could not have been told any better than it was in this book…Miss Zgheib handles the tough and emotional subject of eating disorders with a gentle and loving hand… she handles the subject in a realistic and raw manner, but never lost sight of or compassion for those who suffer…. approximately 1 in 20 Americans suffer from some type of eating disorder in their lifetime… I have work in the fitness industry my entire adult life and I can attest to the fact that eating disorders can manifest in many forms and at any age… my daughter was a competitive dancer when she was younger and the same rules apply in the dance world… there is such an emphasis in so much pressure on women young and old to be thin and fit and perfect especially today when so much is out there on social media…. I truly believe this story will make so many women realize that they are not alone and that there is so much more to life than being thin….

This is Anna’s story… Anna is a 26-year-old exdancer who just moved from France to Missouri with her loving husband Mateus… Anna used to be happy and full of life, she used to be able to enjoy ice cream and french fries… then her relationship with food became toxic and life-threatening… One day when her husband found her after she fainted in the bathroom, they knew it was time for her to get help…. that is when Anna enters the treatment center at 17 Swann Street…

The story is told from the present and the past… Anna’s life leading up to her present situation, including an abusive boyfriend… as well as Anna’s time spent in the treatment center… I really enjoyed getting to know all the girls at 17 Swann Street and hearing their own unique stories…. I also like how the meal plans and treatment notes were interspersed throughout the book, it really added some authenticity to the story… Anna was such a sweet caring girl with such a big heart I had so much compassion for her throughout the story… I was so happy she had such an amazing support system within the treatment center and an incredible husband who was really a rock!

Such an elegant, honest, and emotional story that will have a hold on your heart long after the last page has been read! Absolutely recommend!

🎧🎧🎧 The audiobook was narrated by one of my favorite narrators Saskia Maarleveld… she told the story with so much compassion and beauty… she really painted a beautiful picture with her voice!

🎵🎵🎵 song running through my head, this was not easy I needed to find a hauntingly beautiful song that really was worthy of such a lovely story!
Well I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
Well it goes like this:
The fourth, the fifth, the minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Well your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya
She tied you to her kitchen chair
And she broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
But baby I’ve been here before
I’ve seen this room and I’ve walked this floor
You know, I used to live alone before I knew ya
And I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
And love…

*** many many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Macmillan Audio for my copies of this beautiful book ***

About the Book

The chocolate went first, then the cheese, the fries, the ice cream. The bread was more difficult, but if she could just lose a little more weight, perhaps she would make the soloists’ list. Perhaps if she were lighter, danced better, tried harder, she would be good enough. Perhaps if she just ran for one more mile, lost just one more pound.
 
Anna Roux was a professional dancer who followed the man of her dreams from Paris to Missouri. There, alone with her biggest fears – imperfection, failure, loneliness – she spirals down anorexia and depression till she weighs a mere eighty-eight pounds. Forced to seek treatment, she is admitted as a patient at 17 Swann Street, a peach pink house where pale, fragile women with life-threatening eating disorders live. Women like Emm, the veteran; quiet Valerie; Julia, always hungry. Together, they must fight their diseases and face six meals a day.
Every bite causes anxiety.  Every flavor induces guilt. And every step Anna takes toward recovery will require strength, endurance, and the support of the girls at 17 Swann Street.
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Meet the Author

About the Author:
Yara Zgheib is a Fulbright scholar with a Masters degree in Security Studies from Georgetown University and a PhD in International Affairs in Diplomacy from Centre D’études Diplomatiques et Stratégiques in Paris. She is fluent in English, Arabic, French, and Spanish. Yara is a writer for several US and European magazines, including The Huffington Post, The Four Seasons Magazine, A Woman’s Paris, The Idea List, and Holiday Magazine. She writes on culture, art, travel, and philosophy on her blog, “Aristotle at Afternoon Tea” (http://www.aristotleatafternoontea.com/).
Have a beautiful day! Berit☀️✨
Posted in Book Bestie Approved

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald @Christinamac79 @carlywatters @GalleryBooks #BookReview #BookBestiesnightoliviafell

Happy Tuesday book lovers!And happy publication day to this wonderful story!

So excited to reshare with you my review for this beautiful suspenseful book! This was our second #bookbestieread back in August and what an emotional read it was! Seriously this book should have come with a big box of Kleenex! Six months later and all the feelings this book brought out still stick with me!💔

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald

My Thoughts

5 BIG Beautiful Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

wOWZA! This book took me on quite the emotional journey! As a mother I couldn’t help but completely empathize with Abi(The mother in this story)… I cried with her… I raged with her… I hoped with her… my mama bear was out throughout this book, I needed answers and I needed them now! Imagining my own daughter in the hospital bed brain-dead and pregnant, quite honestly made me a little sick and stressed… this is a credit to the beautiful and engrossing writing in this book, I was completely immersed and committed…. The fact that this is Christina McDonald’s debut is simply…. impressive!

Abi gets that phone call in the middle of the night that all parents fear… her daughter is in the hospital, she has fallen off a bridge…Abi’s mothers intuition tells her this was not an accident and this is reinforced by the bruises around her daughter’s wrist…. The police don’t appear to be doing much of anything to find out who pushed Olivia off that bridge…. but Abi is determined and will stop at nothing to find out who hurt her little girl…

Told from both Abi and Olivia‘s perspectives… we get the events leading up to this tragedy from Olivia‘s eyes… as well as watching Abi’s heart wrenching journey… not only to accept that she has lost her daughter, but also to figure out how this could have happened…. this was such an impactful way to tell the story because the more I got to know Olivia the more my heart broke right along with Abi’s…. also Christina McDonnell did a fabulous job with getting into the mind of both a 17-year-old and her mother…. I saw a lot of myself in both of these characters…

This was an emotional domestic suspense… as the book progressed I was suspicious of almost everyone at some point… I also found myself questioning both Olivia and Abbi’s actions… I kept thinking if only…. then… but isn’t that what life is all about? every choice we make has an impact on our lives…. had Abby told Olivia who her father was, then maybe? Had Olivia told her mother who she had fallen in love with, then perhaps? So many questions and no good answers and as we all know hindsight is always 20/20…

This is a book that left me with tears in my eyes and hope in my heart! I absolutely recommend for anyone who enjoys A beautiful story about the love between mothers and daughters with a huge dose of suspense thrown in….

*** many thanks to Christina McDonald and Gallery for my copy of this book the book releases in February 2019 ***

About the Book ~Releases February 2019

In the small hours of the morning, Abi Knight is startled awake by the phone call no mother ever wants to get: her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, she’s pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive. And then Abi sees the angry bruises circling Olivia’s wrists.

When the police unexpectedly rule Olivia’s fall an accident, Abi decides to find out what really happened that night. Heartbroken and grieving, she unravels the threads of her daughter’s life. Was Olivia’s fall an accident? Or something far more sinister?

Christina McDonald weaves a suspenseful and heartwrenching tale of hidden relationships, devastating lies, and the power of a mother’s love. With flashbacks of Olivia’s own resolve to uncover family secrets, this taut and emotional novel asks: how well do you know your children? And how well do they know you?

The Book Besties

Jennifer @Tarheel Reader

Mackenzie @PhDiva

Kendall Goodreads

Book friends are the best friends! Berit☀️✨📚