[An] impressive coming-of-age novel.
— The New York Times
[A] powerful tale of a person’s capacity for reinvention.
— Kirkus Reviews
You would be forgiven for thinking Angelina Mirabella had herself been a star lady wrestler in the 1950s, given how authentically detailed her debut novel is. Fortunately for us, she’s a fiction writer—and a superb one—who has penned THE SWEETHEART, bringing all her glorious gifts of empathy and language to bear on its unforgettable heroine.
— Teddy Wayne, author of The Love Song of Jonny Valentine
Smart, funny, and poignant, Angelina Mirabella’s THE SWEETHEART puts a hammerlock on one of literature’s most important themes, the search for an identity, and makes it cry ‘Auntie!’ This is a delightfully original novel by a champ of a new writer.
— Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
Like Gwen Davies, its deeply loveable heroine, THE SWEETHEART is a delightful combination of beauty, brawn, and heart. Angelina Mirabella revives the entertainment of ‘lady wrestling’ from its black-and-white age and raises it to the level of art. This is a bold, agile, and breathlessly exuberant debut.
— Eleanor Henderson, author of Ten Thousand Saints
Why haven’t there been more novels written about the lady wrestling circuit of the 1950s? Thank God the talented Angelina Mirabella has opened up this fascinating world for us in her mesmerizing debut novel, THE SWEETHEART. Its heroine—Gorgeous Gwen Davies—is the most feisty and vulnerable character you’ll ever meet. Once she leaps from the turnbuckle and takes the competition to the mat, you’ll find yourself out of your seat and cheering. THE SWEETHEART made me downright giddy.
— Elizabeth Stuckey-French, author of The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady