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OMG. This book.
It's funny. It's sad. The ending goes darker than I expected. In short: two deeply traumatized women meet in a morally questionable way and have an affair. They admire each other's resistance to the label of trauma. There are dogs and bees. CW for extreme violence. I laughed out loud multiple times. Protagonist Greta is a hilarious, tragic character, and her love for the woman she calls Big Swiss is palpable and, of course, doomed.
February 2023 Indie Next List
“Big Swiss is an I-can’t-stop-thinking-about-this kind of book. When I first read the concept, I was shocked, but intrigued. Now that I’ve read the book, I want everyone else to share in my cringing, laughing, and heart palpitations.”
— Lily Sadighmehr, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA
A brilliantly original and funny novel about a sex therapist's transcriptionist who falls in love with a client while listening to her sessions. When they accidentally meet in real life, an explosive affair ensues.Greta lives with her friend Sabine in an ancient Dutch farmhouse in Hudson, New York. The house, built in 1737, is unrenovated, uninsulated, and full of bees. Greta spends her days transcribing therapy sessions for a sex coach who calls himself Om. She becomes infatuated with his newest client, a repressed married woman she affectionately refers to as Big Swiss, since she's tall, stoic, and originally from Switzerland. Greta is fascinated by Big Swiss's refreshing attitude toward trauma. They both have dark histories, but Big Swiss chooses to remain unattached to her suffering while Greta continues to be tortured by her past. One day, Greta recognizes Big Swiss's voice at the dog park. In a panic, she introduces herself with a fake name and they quickly become enmeshed. Although Big Swiss is unaware of Greta's true identity, Greta has never been more herself with anyone. Her attraction to Big Swiss overrides her guilt, and she'll do anything to sustain the relationship... Bold, outlandish, and filled with irresistible characters, Big Swiss is both a love story and also a deft examination of infidelity, mental health, sexual stereotypes, and more--from an amazingly talented, one-of-a-kind voice in contemporary fiction.