Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book Review: Spin the Plate, by Donna Anastasi

Spin the Plate, by Donna Anastasi

Paperback: 198 pages

Publisher: Black Rose Writing (May 27, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1935605399
Rating (1 to 5 *): ****

Spin the Plate Book Review

Jo fills her waking hours in an attempt to keep her 128 episodes of childhood trauma from replaying in her mind. She is a talented tattoo artist, she roams the streets at night in search of needy animals to save, she picks fights, and she works out and follows a sumo wrestling training program. However, no matter how hard she tries, those episodes continue to torture her.

Enter Francis, a strange little man (as she thinks of him), who wants to be with her but does not make demands or pressure her. Francis, who tries to live in the manner of his sainted namesake, is much more than he appears, and he seems determined to save Jo from her demons. She's not so sure she needs saving, but she can't quite turn him away.

Spin the Plate, by Donna Anastasi, crosses several genres. There is a romance, but it is much more serious and heavy than typical romance novels. There are Christian themes, but the grittiness of the story would deter the typical reader of Christian fiction. The overarching theme is Jo's transformation from a sexually abused child to a woman who attempts to hide her femininity and quash all signs of vulnerability to a woman who is able to accept a man's love. This, to me, puts it squarely in the genre of Women's Fiction...and let's not confuse that with "chick lit". This is serious stuff, no fluff here. The story tackles some tough issues, and while it doesn't tread lightly, it does handle some harsh scenes very gracefully.

As a reader, this is an interesting, absorbing story. As an editor, I see much potential if a developmental edit were done on it: much of the story is rushed, some descriptions and details are distracting rather than adding to the story, and some of the back story and timelines are a little confusing or contradictory. However, while working on these things would make the book better, it is quite readable and powerful as it stands.

Donna Anastasi's characters are rich and interesting, and the picture she paints in the reader's mind is vivid. She tackles some tough situations that happen in our world every day, which we need to be reminded of, and she does it without being preachy. Spin the Plate is a worthy read!

Listen to my BlogTalkRadio interview with Donna at!

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book to review as part of a virtual book tour promoted by my company, Walker Author Tours. However, this did not influence my review, and I gave it the same honest assessment I give all books I review.

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