Friday, March 29, 2013

Spin the Plate, by Donna Anastasi


Today I'm taking part in Donna Anastasi's book tour for her new novel, Spin the Plate, with thanks to Walker Author tours.

Brief Synopsis: 

Jo is a survivor of a bleak and abusive childhood who roams the city streets at night as a powerful vigilante. Francis is a mysterious man she meets on the subway train. In this story, the average-guy hero battles to win the battered heart of the wary, edgy, less-than-perfect heroine. "A fast-paced, edgy, darkly comic tale of resilience, romance, and redemption that breaks over you in waves." -  Holly Robinson, author

Author’s Bio:
Donna Anastasi is the author of two non-fiction small animal books published by Bowtie press: The Complete Guide to Gerbil Care (2005) a popular how to breed, raise, and care for gerbils book and The Complete Guide to Chinchilla Care (2008) a chinchilla handbook promoting these exotic and intelligent creatures as companions, not coats. She lives in the woods of Southern New, Hampshire with her husband, two teen-aged daughters and an ever-changing menagerie. 

Spin the Plate is Anastasi's debut novel. The 2013 printing of Spin the Plate is a completely revised and expanded version of her 2010 indie-award winning novel: Living Now Book Awards (Gold Medal), Reader’s Favorite Awards (Silver Medal, Contemporary Romance), International Book Awards (Finalist, Women’s Literature), Best Book Awards (Finalist, Cross-Genre Fiction).

My Review:
Jo’s not like everyone else. She’s big and wears baggy clothes, so stranger’s think she’s lazy and fat. Then she stands up to them, sumo-wrestler strong and perfectly balanced, and strangers flee. It makes her feel good. It’s what she wishes she’d done to her abuser when she was a child.

Francis is not like everyone else either. “Jesus love you, you know,” are his first words to Jo, which probably confuse the both of them. But Francis' secrets are different, and he hides them very well.
An odd mix of shy determination, wounded sincerity, and genuine love brings these two characters together, and the reader learns slowly who both of them are, through separate chapters on their separate lives. The tattoos Jo designs for her customers beautifully symbolize their lives, but her own life is a black hole spinning off to infinity—nicely illustrated in the novel’s cover image. Still, from another point of view, that spinning hole might be something beautiful.

Slowly Jo’s viewpoint changes as she stands up to her past, recognizes her present, and moves toward the future. A heartwarming love story of woman denied the touch of human affection, a man of mystery and mission, and a faith that might spin plates even if it doesn’t seem to move mountains, Spin the Plate is genuinely different and unconventionally pleasing.

Dark situations may turn some readers off and an ill-guided reference to chess might annoy chess-players. But the writing’s smooth, the different points of view make sense and build the characters perfectly, and the Christian themes are well-blended into thoughtful conversation rather than altar calls.

Disclosure: I was given a free copy and asked for an honest review.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the wonderful, indepth review! I was hoping to learn what cup of coffee goes with this novel. What do you think?
Donna Anastasi, author Spin the Plate

Sheila Deeth said...

Ah, I forgot to include the coffee! I put a shorter version of the review in yesterday's post and recommended "a 4-star elegant complex coffee with this elegantly constructed novel." I hope that works. Enjoy!

Donna Anastasi said...

Thank you Sheila! I love that :/)