Thursday, April 2, 2009

Willing Spirits by Phyllis Schieber


Title: Willing Spirits
Author: Phyllis Schieber
# pages: 292
Date published: March 2009 (trade paperback reprint)
Genre: women’s fiction
Challenge(s): 100+ Challenge, 999 Challenge, Pages Read Challenge, Read Your Own Books Challenge

Rating: (highly recommended)


First sentence(s):

“Jane never knew her mother to tell a lie that would make it seem that life could be anything other than hard or sad, or terribly lonely."
What is it all about? Jane and Gwen are both teachers in their 40s. Friends for nearly 20 years, these two women have helped each other through the trials and tribulations of life--unfaithful husbands, married lovers, dying parents, and single motherhood.

Random thoughts: Willing Spirits is a beautifully and thoughtfully written novel and I throughly enjoyed reading it. There’s a lot to talk about here in terms of friendships, parenting, losing a parent, and how women support each other. I think it would make a great book club discussion (there are questions in the back to help with this, too)--especially if your book club is like mine--mostly women.

Favorite quote(s): **Note: The copy I read is an ARC (advanced reading copy) so this quote might be different in the final version of the book, but it’ll give you a good idea of why I enjoyed the author’s voice so much (any typos are completely mine!).**

“Gwen remembered it as the night they had fallen in love. Yes, women do fall in love with each other. Differently, of course, than they fall in love with men. Falling in love with a man is a feverish experience. There is little control. But falling in love with a woman is much more serious. It guarantees so much more for the investment. For it is from other women that women are nurtured. It is from other women that they hear what they hope to hear from men. I understand. I know how you feel. I’m sorry for your pain. I care about what you think: Words that need no prompting. In that circle, women tell each other the things that men and women tell each other first with their hands and lips and tongues before they tell each other with words. Women comfort each other with touch that is meant to heal, rather than to excite. The mysteries of love are less complex between women. The hidden passages are easier to negotiate. And the dangers do not seem as great as when the same journey is taken with a man. Around each dank and frightening corner, women hold out their hands to each other and form a human chain that is, quite simply, spiritually different. The lucky ones find men who (and it is a deep and well-kept secret between women) are more like women.” (p. 50-51)
Bravo...Well said ;o)...

Fun tidbits:
Recommended for readers who: have women friends that they couldn’t (or wouldn’t want to) live without. And readers who enjoy books by authors like Debbie Macomber (especially her knitting series), Kristin Hannah, and Lorna Landvik.


Phyllis Schieber said...

Hi Kristi: I love the passage that you selected. . . it's so true, isn't it? Even now when I read that passage, I am satisfied that it says what I intended! Thank you for your kind words about my writing. It means a great deal to me.

samantha.1020 said...

I've got both of this author's books on my TBR list. Great review!

Phyllis Schieber said...

Ah, you see, Samantha! I spoke too soon! Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy my work.