Reviewed by Jessa L.

Sophie Hegel is a small town girl that has worked hard to get where she is today. She is still shy and soft spoken; she graduated from Yale Law School and found a job as a lawyer who files appeals for inmates she feels were wrongly convicted. She’s dating a prestigious lawyer and Harvard graduate, has terrific friends, and lives in a beautiful apartment. Just when she thinks that everything is going so right, things start tumbling downhill.

Sophie begins to feel a fist-like ball forming at the base of her throat. She sees a psychiatrist and is diagnosed with a psychological condition known as Globus Sensate. This fist-ball creates all sorts of problems as it causes her to have difficulty eating, speaking, and even breathing. Given her job and her relationship, this does not bode well for poor Sophie. She wonders if she’ll somehow be able to overcome her problem or if it will destroy her life and possibly even kill her.

Swallow portrays itself to be a dark comedy about families that distance themselves and begin to fall apart completely, and the trials and tribulations of a small town nobody among prestigious somebodies. I can see the latter, but I don’t agree with the dark comedy bit whatsoever. I saw nothing humorous, sarcastic, or anything close to it anywhere in Swallow. The story just drags on and on and on. The characters are dry and boring. The plot goes nowhere and fails to get anywhere near a climax until the last few pages.

Fortunately, the last few pages bordered on interesting and compelling. In those pages, I finally saw Sophie become an interesting person. She learned to assert herself and do what needed to be done. I only wish she’d done this sooner. I wish anybody had done this sooner. With the exception of these pages, Swallow was a complete bore and I had a very hard time convincing myself to keep reading.

Jessa lives in Utah with her husband, 2 sons, 2 cats, and 2 dogs. She goes to school full time as an English major with a focus in creative writing. She likes anime and reads books and plays video games in her moments of spare time.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Tonya Plank. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.