The Sweetheart by Angelina Mirabella
Review / June 10, 2019

Wrestling-based novels do not have a great reputation and those involving female characters and an element of romance are normally something for reviewers to fear (particularly in the self-publishing realm.) Thankfully The Sweetheart, professionally published by Simon & Schuster, is a strong exception to that pattern. It’s the tale of Leonie Putzkammer, better known as 1950s female pro wrestler Gwen Davies. Without giving too much of the plot away, she’s discovered, trained, works as a heel, then makes a key career decision that affects both her professional and personal life. The Sweetheart pulls off that rare task of being an engaging novel in its own right that will appeal to a general audience, but being credible for pro wrestling fans, with the wrestling scenes an integral part of the storyline and themes rather than merely being a backdrop. Author Angelina Mirabella has clearly researched the subject does a great job of capturing some of the little-known nuances of the real wrestling business such as the genuine physical suffering and the potentially psyche-destroying way in which “opponents” are both working together for the show and competing for promotional positioning. One particularly impressive element is the way Mirabella includes details of genuine…