Title of Book: Spin the Plate
Length: 234 pages
Genre: 1) Contemporary, women’s fiction, 2) Love-story/Romance, 3) Abuse/inspirational
Warnings: this book contains profanity and descriptions of sexual abuse
Note: this book contains Christian themes, although they are not the primary focus.
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
Barnes and Noble (Short Story version): “This book really spoke to my heart. It spoke of endurance, journey and the light at the end of the tunnel. Right now so many of us are scrambling to keep one step ahead and survive in the world today. This book reaffirms that a strong faith, endurance and the willingness to take that journey can speak of a new beginning and a healthy recovery from one’s past and the damage that we bear daily. The author showed amazing insight and truthfully reflected that while the journey can be uncomfortable or scary, the destination is well worth it. The book was well written and captivating. The story and it’s more profound meaning is something I’ll definitely carry with me for a long long time. To the author, I thank you for a bright light in these dark days.”
Goodreads Reader: "I’m left almost speechless."
Provided by author Holly Robinson, The Wishing Hill (Penguin, in Press) and Sleeping Tigers: “Spin the Plate is a fast-paced, edgy, darkly comic tale of resilience, romance, and redemption that breaks over you in waves. All you can do is gasp, stay afloat, and enjoy the ride.”
These are two of the strangest characters I have ever met. Jo is what my dad and I would have called an "Amazon woman." She is very large and very strong, which she has done over the years to protect herself. She would rather have men be turned off by her than deal with their advances. She also wants little to nothing to do with women, either. She is a vigilante for animals, because they are the most defenseless of all. It's her way of seeking penance for what she endured as a young child.
I don't quite understand what Francis' profession really is. He is kind of a mystery man and unlikely hero all rolled into one. He is strong in his faith and is able to see things in others that they usually cannot. He has an unusual fixation on Jo from the moment he lays eyes on her, knowing that she is capable of being so much more. He will do anything it takes to help her to see her potential.
Both of them are searching for something. They lack companionship, only don't quite seem to realize it. They are both hurting deep within. Jo's pain is more obvious than Francis', I think. They have little in common, yet are drawn to each other.
The lesson that Francis teaches Jo, to "spin the plate," is an important one that we all need to do in our lives. Basically, take a step back from your situation. Look at it from another perspective. You can change your point-of-view and realize that things are not so bad after all. You can make them fit your needs. Just turn things around a little bit. At least, that is what I got out of the book.
Yes, abuse is a part of the story, but it does not dwell on the abuse. I thought the flashback scenes were handled delicately enough to not be offensive. They also serve to demonstrate how you can overcome even the worst situations in life.
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.