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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 so stressed out that she's got an overwhelming psychological problem manifesting as feeling like she has a huge lump in her throat that causes an inability to swallow. It's not physical and so Tonya knows she needs help but the help she needs isn't really what she gets. For Sophie's story is quite unique from most "immature girl grows up into a self-confident woman" tales. We get to experience Sophie in all of her flaws, faux pas, successful moments and all of those more often experienced in-between moments.

The road to recovery isn't an easy one and at one point it seems that Sophie's job is in jeopardy as she begins to lose it and blurt 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 and her boyfriend, also a brilliant yuppie lawyer, is growing unhappy with Sophie's behavior. Readers will cheer when she finally deals directly with the perfect Stephen.

Psychology associates disorders with some sort of major trauma from childhood, but how does one handle it when everyone remembers the "event" in different ways? Sophie initially is brutal in dealing with her father and sister but slowly comes to see things from their points of view and the dawn of a new relationship with them seems to be in the brighter future.

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.

Interesting approach and nicely done, Ms. Plank!

Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on June 27, 2010

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