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Spin the Plate: A Novel

Spin the Plate: A Novel

4.4 27
by Donna Anastasi, Tobias Allen (Illustrator)

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"Spin the Plate" is a heroic story of one woman's emotional, spiritual, legal, and ultimately romantic journey as she fights to heal the wounds of familial sexual abuse.

Jo is a survivor of a bleak and abusive childhood. She channels her pain and rage into weight training and roams the streets of Boston at night as a powerful vigilante. While she is more than


"Spin the Plate" is a heroic story of one woman's emotional, spiritual, legal, and ultimately romantic journey as she fights to heal the wounds of familial sexual abuse.

Jo is a survivor of a bleak and abusive childhood. She channels her pain and rage into weight training and roams the streets of Boston 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. An average-guy hero, he battles to win the battered heart of a tough, wary, less-than-perfect heroine.

"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."
-- Holly Robinson, author of Haven Lake and Chance Harbor

The novel has won awards for Contemporary Romance, Cross Genre Fiction and Women's Literature. A feature-length film based on the novel will be released in July 2017.

Product Details

Anastasi Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.49(d)
Age Range:
1 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Donna Anastasi lives in the South Shore of Massachusetts with her husband and an ever-
changing menagerie.

Her novel "Spin the Plate" has won awards for Contemporary Romance, Cross Genre Fiction and Women's Literature. A feature-length film based on the novel will be released in July 2017.

Donna Anastasi is also the author of The Complete Guide to Gerbil Care (Bowtie Press) and The Complete Guide to Chinchilla Care (Bowtie Press).

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Spin the Plate 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the story about a girl who shouldn't have understood love because her parents didn't show her any. She grew up to be compassionate and rescue needy animals, but kept everyone else out. A man insisted upon being a part of her life. He was small and feeble compared to her so there was no risk of him hurting her as her father had. She tolerated the scrawny man and he slowly worked his way behind her defenses. He helped her learn about real love from God and to understand why there is suffering. She was finally able to show love to others and to ease their suffering.
issapenay More than 1 year ago
this mismatched pair reminds us to hope in our future,  that there are still good things to be found for all of us
Jesse_Kimmel-Freeman More than 1 year ago
This is a real book. You can feel Jo's hurt. It's like she punches you in the face as you read her story. Not all books can do this. I really wanted to give Jo a hug, even if it meant I'd get a beat down for trying. Her story is AMAZING. I love this book- even if the cover did nothing for me. I can't even imagine what her life would be like, but Donna has done a wonderful job of developing her characters and the story so it doesn't matter that I can't. I want to know through the words. I want to feel like I'm in the room with them as they watch American Idol for the first time and see it all happen- see that little notch in her armor happen. The story kind of throws you in the beginning. Nothing is clear and everything is hidden and veiled in old memories and unspoken words. But as you go, it blooms for you. It offers you an amazing story that feels real and honest. This is the kind of book you should read because it doesn't beat around the bush. It lays it all out of the line and tells you that it doesn't give two cents whether you care because it happened whether you want to believe it or not! I love that! It's a great read. I definitely recommend that you read it.
Ravenswood_Reviews More than 1 year ago
"SPIN THE PLATE" BY DONNA ANASTASI This was an amazing book, Jo, also known as Julianne has long held back her feelings about the sexual and physical abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of her father. Now much older and working as a tattoo artist at a local shop, she has amazing talent as an artist and she spends her free time searching the streets for animals that have been mistreated. There are moments when the finds turn into altercations that give her the chance to get her anger out in the open by way of physical violence. Jo soon meets a man named Francis that shows her the light of God and helps her bring her father to justice for the crimes he committed against her at such a tender age. This is a story about acceptance, finding love, the courage to do what's right, and the will to accept your life and let go of the past. Wonderfully written with more than one beautiful and important message. You should read this book! -Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club
FiveAlarmBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Donna Anastasi has developed a character in Jo that at first glance appears tough, rude and aggressive, but with every new page I found myself warming up to her in a way that was quite unexpected. Spin the Plate brings to life the effects that abuse can have on a person and to just what extreme they may go to bury their pain and try to hide themselves from the entire world. As I understood Jo more, I felt like giving her a big hug and a big cheer of encouragement. There were moments that reading became uncomfortable because of the subject matter, but it was necessary for a deeper understanding of the context of the novel. Donna Anastsi brings to life some very harsh realities that are worth knowing more about. Recommended book clubs for its many discussion topics and to readers who like a realistic drama.
kittycrochettwo More than 1 year ago
Spin The Plate is Donna Anastasi's first attempt at writing fiction and I must say she hit a home run with this book! The protagonist Juliana Orsiano,who goes by the name of Jo, puts up a very tough front, she dresses in baggy bib overalls and wears hiking books to her job as a tattoo artist. Every time she leaves the house she puts on her tough guy attitude to keep people from approaching her,men in particular. The reason she has has this tough girl exterior is simple, she was hurt badly as a child, her father started molesting her at the age of 4 and didn't stop until she turned 14, when she was sent to juvie hall for some infraction that happened at school. Being tough, and keeping herself physically and emotionally exausted, keeps her from remembering those episodes, because she remembers each, even has them numbered. On the inside Jo has a caring heart, but she only lets her animals see it, sure she is good at her job as a tattoo artist, but she still holds herself aloof, not wanting to form any real relationships,but when she goes home she becomes the kind hearted person who lives with an assortment of animals that she has rescued, and often at night she takes her two massive dogs Rufus and Ben and walks the streets looking for abandoned animals she can rescue and re home.When she takes her dogs out at night she uses their street names Titan and Cain thinking this will further intimidate strangers. When she meets Francis on morning on the subway she does her best to "scare him off" but he becomes intrigued with her, he had been unhappy in his work and had been having reoccurring dreams of a warrior woman who rescues him and he believes Jo is this woman. Can he convince her of that, and break down the protective wall that she has built up around her heart? This book for me was something I couldn't put down, Jo is a very strong character, it was amazing to see her grow and develop thru the course of this story, the author does an amazing job of making Jo's character seem so real that her pain and loneliness jump off the page at you. Francis was a quirky character but honestly for all his little idiosyncrasies he truly turned out to be a knight in shining armour. The way that he approached Jo was perfect. A profoundly touching story, that you wont be able to put down. On a scale from one to five I would give this book a six it is just that good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I finished Spin the Plate several days ago and as I was driving the Mass Pike today, I found myself scanning the side of the highway looking for Jo and her dogs..suffice it to say your novel stuck with me. Definitely edgier than I originally expected. Early on, I thought that perhaps Francis was a "heavenly" character here on Earth looking for the next Messiah. Another thought I had as I finished the book is that the state of Massachusetts and city of Boston are, in fact, characters in the book. Much as Francis is the power behind Charles Davis, the sights and sounds of Boston and Mass drive the story and impact and influence the plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We could all learn to believe in true love and a life free of hate and fear
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very touching characters and great writing. This was my second read and I find it sticks around long after the last word is read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
Intriguing, edgy and wise: Jo’s not like everyone else. She’s big and wears baggy clothes, so stranger’s think she’s lazy and fat. Then she stands up to them, sumo-wrestler strong and perfectly balanced, and strangers flee. It makes her feel good. It’s what she wishes she’d done to her abuser when she was a child. Francis is not like everyone else either. “Jesus love you, you know,” are his first words to Jo, which probably confuse the both of them. But Francis’ secrets are different, and he hides them very well. An odd mix of shy determination, wounded sincerity, and genuine love brings these two characters together, and the reader learns slowly who both of them are, through separate chapters on their separate lives. The tattoos Jo designs for her customers beautifully symbolize their lives, but her own life is a black hole spinning off to infinity—nicely illustrated in the novel’s cover image. Still, from another point of view, that spinning hole might be something beautiful. Slowly Jo’s viewpoint changes as she stands up to her past, recognizes her present, and moves toward the future. A heartwarming love story of woman denied the touch of human affection, a man of mystery and mission, and a faith that might spin plates even if it doesn’t seem to move mountains, Spin the Plate is genuinely different and unconventionally pleasing. Dark situations may turn some readers off and an ill-guided reference to chess might annoy chess-players. But the writing’s smooth, the different points of view make sense and build the characters perfectly, and the Christian themes are well-blended into thoughtful conversation rather than altar calls. Disclosure: I was given a free copy and asked for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not my thing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story! Well written, loved it...... read it !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the story but I guess I'm the only one who thinks the characters were under developed. I felt like it was all too good to be true and the story seemed rather rushed. I would have liked to learn more about each character and maybe see the main character not be so compliant when she was described as menacing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was pulled tin rigpht away. Loved it. It was different. Completely worth your time
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really unusual but interesting characters ... read one sitting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Will recomend to friends. Really enjoyed the story, did not want to stop reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very different kind of love story about healing, friendship, and inner beauty.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
terri-maree More than 1 year ago
I loved it! The short story gave the less detailed version of the story, but the novel gives you a more intimate glance in the life of Jo. Having read the full novel, I feel that the questions I had after reading the short story. I feel that I understand Jo a lot better, having been given the chance to have some more flashbacks on her life. I could not understand why she would go and visit her father in prison, but then you understand through a good memory of the past and you see what a strong and compassionate person Jo really is. I understand why she felt the responsibility to stand by him to the end even though he hurt her so badly. I truly applaud her for that, but in reading this book you expect nothing less of Jo. What I love most is that the full length novel has a less open ending than the short story. I love that we get to see a lot more of the joy that Jo experiences after she and Francis get married. I loved being witness to their wedding!! I was really happy at the end of this beautiful novel of survival, because it truly could not have had a better ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grab your plate and give it a spin The novel opens with a humorous scene on the subway. Yet, it evolves to explore serious and thought-provoking issues, while often resuming its sense of fun. This book also flows really quickly, as a series of unusual situations unfold. I read this in a single afternoon! Jo is haunted by memories of sexual molestation by her father. She keeps busy, to try to run from the memories of her past. Her rich and varied life not only distracts her, but provides the reader with a number of mini-stories. Can she make the right tattoo? How did she get into Sumo wrestling? Who's that weird guy following her? All those stories add up, not just to reveal Jo's personality, but to help us see how she can face greater challenges. Francis is also unique and fascinating, from his passion for Jo, to his secret life with the rich and famous. Much of the entertainment comes from the interaction of these two highly unusual individuals. The novel touches on a number of interesting social issues, including stray animals, rape and the legal system, and, even, a fanciful journey through the world of conspiracy theories. In summary, it's quite a pleasure to watch so much unfold in such a quick read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago