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Big Swiss

by Jen Beagin

faber & faber

Wild, wacky and completely off the wall… I’d love to know what you think of this book!

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.  When they accidentally meet in real life, an explosive affair ensues.  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.

What begins as a jokey, almost cynical critique… veers for a while into thriller terrain, and winds up a kind of delayed coming-of-age story about a woman who has relied on her wits and her tragic upbringing to deflect real feeling. That Greta begins healing in a town full of alleged healers is part of the book’s irony — and its charm. – Washington Post

Wild…hilarious…so good. —Cosmopolitan

A laugh-out-loud bad romance for Gen Xers and an ode to misfits who just want to belong. —Oprah Daily *

Always interesting…too fun to stop. —Vanity Fair

A strange and seductive book that will stick with me. Big Swiss is a visceral and confronting reading experience that made me laugh and think too much (the right amount?) about sex and death and honesty, and why we’re all so bloody obsessed with trauma —Monica Heisey, author of Really Good, Actually

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