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The Girls at 17 Swann Street

A beautiful yet haunting tale of Anna’s struggle to eat and to survive.



Anna Roux was a professional dancer who followed the man of her dreams from Paris to St. Louis, Missouri. There, alone with her biggest fears —imperfection, failure, loneliness—she spirals down anorexia and depression until she weighs a mere 88 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. Anna, together with the other women in the house must fight their demons every minute of every day to survive.


Anorexia is a difficult subject to read about. Particular if you know someone that has suffered from it. But this book is worth the read. I walked away with a much better appreciation and understanding and I am so glad I read it. THE GIRLS AT 17 SWANN STREET is a beautiful, yet haunting story of Anna’s struggle to eat and her struggle to survive.

The story is about Anna’s journey as an inpatient and the women she encounters there. The other patients like Emm, Valerie and Julia help show the many faces eating disorders can hide behind. My favorite part was Anna’s amazing relationships with the men in her life. Both her gorgeous husband, Matthias, and her devoted Parisienne father. The descriptive writing captures Anna relationships in such a way as to give you hope for her. Anna is loved and she loves. I loved Anna phone calls to her father in Paris when she was allowed out of the house for a group walk in the mornings. I loved the advice her father had shared with her as a child that resonants even more so today, ‘Keep walking Anna. Don’t stop. Keep walking, Anna.’

The Girls at 17 Swann Street is Yara Zgheib’s debut novel. She is a Fulbright scholar with a masters degree in Security Studies and a PhD in International Diplomacy. She is a writer for several US and European magazines. Thanks to Netgalley, St. Martin’s Press and Yara Zgheib for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher St. Martin’s Press

Published February 5, 2019

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