I must say I was attracted to the novel, THE SWEETHEART (Simon and Schuster) by Angelina Mirabella when I saw the cover. The folks at Simon and Schuster did a swell job creating a catchy picture that didn’t quite tell you what the book was about, but certainly made you want to pick it up and take a look inside. I know I did. After I read a few pages, I have to say, holy moly, I didn’t see that coming! But I took the bait and I’m glad I did!
17-year old, Leonie Putzkammer is too tall, athletic and too pretty for her single daddy to raise alone in Philly. He knows it and so does she. One night he takes her to a professional men’s arena wrestling match and she falls in love with the sport, wondering if girls do that kind of thing. One thing leads to another and she’s accepted to Joe Pospisil’s School for Lady Grappling and on a train to the swamps in Florida. Leonie’s transformed into “Gorgeous Gwen Davies” and teamed up with “Screaming Mimi Hollander” and soon they’re stars on the ladies wrestling circuit. But being a headliner means being a “heel,” and that means being the one the fans hate, and all Gwen wants is to be loved.
THE SWEETHEART is about more than wrestling; it’s about growing up, making compromises, falling in love, finding inner confidence and learning to love yourself. It also highlights a time in history when women were torn between their hearts and dreams of succeeding in their careers. They couldn’t do both and were expected to quit the ring and become full-time wives and mothers.
THE SWEETHEART is written in second person which if you’re not familiar with the technique, may feel distant, as if there’s a wall between you and the action. Personally, it’s not my favorite, but I like to try different things. Angelina Mirabella is an incredibly gifted writer, educated at a highly respected MFA program at Florida State University, by outstanding teachers including professor/author, Elizabeth Stuckey-French, whose quirky influence is not missed.
Check out Elizabeth’s novels, as well when you get a chance. http://www.elizabethstuckeyfrench.com
Keep reading and supporting your local book stores, libraries and authors my lovely chickadees. We love you for it! xx
Be sure to check out http://www.cindyroesel.com for more of my reviews and news about my novel, VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED.
It’s hard to believe THE SWEETHEART is Angelina’s debut novel. I look forward to reading more of her work. Have a wonderful week.