Spin the Plate
author : donna anastasi
pages : [paperback] 232
favorite characters : francis & jo
Jo is a survivor of a bleak and abusive childhood. She channels her pain and rage into weight training and roams the city streets at night as a powerful vigilante. While she is more than capable of defending herself against physical danger, she is defenseless against the memories of the past that torment her.
Francis is a mysterious man she meets on the subway train. He doesn’t have a regular job and is still living at home. But he is gentle, likeable, friendly, intelligent, sensitive, respectful, generous, patient, and understanding. Just what a brave, but damaged soul like Jo needs.
In this story, the average-guy hero battles to win the battered heart of the wary, edgy, less-than-perfect heroine.
about the author :
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. 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).
Donna Anastasi lives in the woods of Southern New, Hampshire with her husband, two teen-aged daughters and an ever-changing menagerie.
This book is unlike anything else I have ever read before! From start to finish, the reader is shown Jo, a woman who strives to be strong in every way possible. By building up her body and her defenses against other people, particularly men, she seems to succeed most strongly in ostracizing other people. Yet I love how we can see the softer side in her, too, the part of her that allows her to feel for others and that would expand if only someone came into her life to show her a way to cope with what happened to her when she was a child.
Spin the Plate has an amazing cast of characters. Francis, the man that Jo meets on the train, isn’t a perfect person, either, which is definitely made evident during their first meeting. Donna Anastasi takes her novel to an entirely new level by showing that Jo isn’t the only one who needs to heal and help herself. She isn’t portrayed as some helpless woman now, either. The background integrated into the narrative shows the important points of Jo’s life that led to her becoming the woman that we see in that first scene, on the train.
I think that Spin the Plate holds an important message for anyone. Even if you cannot relate to Jo’s personal experiences, you can still feel her emotions and the writing is so cleverly styled that you feel as though you really are getting to know her as a real person. I love this book and I know that people who pick it up will find great messages about strength, courage, and love.