Friday, August 10, 2012

Erin's Review of Willing Spirits, by Phyllis Schieber

My Rating: didn't like it it was ok (my current rating) liked it really liked it it was amazing

Both teachers in their forties, Jane Hoffman and Gwen Baker have a friendship that has helped them endure. It was Jane who looked after Gwen when her husband left her with two young sons to raise. And when Jane comes home one day unexpectedly and finds her husband in a shameless act of betrayal, she turns to Gwen for support.

Now, tested by additional personal crises, Jane and Gwen face new challenges-as mothers, as daughters, as women. And in the process, they will learn unexpected truths about their friendship-and themselves.

This book was just okay...not great...not bad, but somewhere in the middle.  The story itself was good, good character development, strong writing style, no grammatical or spelling errors. A lot of people would probably love it.  I bet you are wondering why I would rate it as 'just okay'.

In order for me to be completely invested in a book and say I love it I need to have some sort of a connection with the charaters.  Being in my mid-twenties I just don't have the same life experiences as Jane and Gwen.  Yes, I am married....but I hope that I never have to face the same adultery that was brought up in this book.  I have a child on the way, but I don't have grown children who I am lonely without.  This would be a book an older woman would find very good.

One thing I could relate to is the bond between two women.  That never ending friendship that develops.  I have quite a few amazing girl friends, who I would be lost without.  (Yes, Lily....that would be you).  Yes, a family is great, siblings, spouses, parents...but there is something to say about a good friend.  The friendship brought out in this book is real, it is something we all want, and hopefully we will all have forever.

It definitely fit in with the fluffy summer reads theme that is going on this month.  It was a feel good book, just something that I personally couldnt connect to.

I do recommend this book to anyone with some life experience.  Someone in their twenties probably wouldnt get anything out of this book, but I believe that someone who is in their forties would be able to relate to and would enjoy this book immensely.

                                                                  About the Author                                                          

Phyllis graduated from high school at sixteen, went on to Bronx Community College, transferred to and graduated from Herbert H. Lehman College with a B.A. in English and a New York State license to teach English. I earned my M.A. in Literature from New York University and later my M.S. as a developmental specialist from Yeshiva University. I have worked as a high school English teacher, a special education teacher, and as a learning disabilties specialist in several college programs.

Reading was the first line of defense against anything I did not want to do. 'I'm reading,' was an excuse my parents never challenged. Education was paramount in our home. There were weekly trips to the library, and the greatly anticipated Friday afternoon story hour. Everything about words seemed interesting and important.. I could make sense of the world if I put it on paper. I could even make the world better; people could become smarter and more attractive, and I could make people laugh and cry at will. Writng was powerful. I thought in stories, answered questions in my head and added, 'she said' at the end of a sentence. I still do.

My first novel , Strictly Personal, for young adults, was published by Fawcett-Juniper. Willing Spirits was published by William Morrow. My most recent novel, The Sinner's Guide to Confession, will be published by Berkley Putnam on July 1, 2008. In March 2008, Berkley Putnam will issue the first paperback publication of Willing Spirits.

Phyllis Schieber lives in Westchester County, New York She works privately with students, teaching writing, and is currently working on a new novel.

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