- File Size: 756 KB
- Print Length: 260 pages
- Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (July 25, 2011)
- Publication Date: July 25, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005IE1GCO
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #670,014 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$9.99|
|Print List Price:||$14.95|
Save $6.96 (47%)
The Manicurist Kindle Edition
|Length: 260 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top customer reviews
In the beginning, a woman named Fran shows up at Tessa's nail salon to tell her that her estranged mother, Ursula, wants to reconcile with her. Tessa has not seen her mother since an auto accident took the life of her father. Her mother was in the accident, too, but survived and chose that moment to leave the scene and walk away from Tessa altogether. Later we learn she believed it was the best thing she could do for her daughter, being she was insane and essentially destroying both of their lives on a daily basis.
Though her grandparents raised her, Tessa inherited the traits of mental illness from her mother. And with those traits in hand, she managed to cause her own family a great deal of pain and suffering. She was unfaithful in her marriage, distant from her daughter, nearly divorced, and hated by her husband's family.
But Tessa also inherited a propensity for reading palms, and you'd think this would be a significant feature in a story that's billed as a paranormal novel of the occult, but the story has little to do with Tessa's palm reading. I'm not even sure why the author includes it as an element of the story, or why there's a big palm reaching out on the cover of the book as if to say, "read me." It's like a 500-pound gorilla in the room that no one pays any attention to. Instead the book mostly centers on the memories Tessa and her mother and her own waffling back and forth over whether or not to meet with her again--after so many bygone years.
And in this, Schieber succeeds admirably using flashback vignettes of Tessa as a child with her deranged mother. She not only describes the oddity, mania, and paranoid delusions with unparalleled precision, she also makes you feel the love conflict Tessa has regarding her mother, the desperation to be rid of her and yet at the same time never to loose her.
Unfortunately, what Schieber fails to do is create a story. Outside the vignettes, the book is painfully boring. The husband character is pathetic and not worth reading about; her daughter, Regina, is a paper-thin actor, completely insignificant in respect to the central conflict. The issues Tessa goes through with her own family are unrealistically portrayed, and it's overall a struggle just to get to the end of the book.
Having said that, I recommend reading "The Manicurist," especially if you want a unique insight into what it's like growing up with a mentally ill parent. If Phyllis Schieber has personal experience with this, then she's ingeniously recreated it in her writing. If she doesn't, then she must have clairvoyantly produced her exposition of it, because it's right on the mark.
The manicurist could read palms, but she never told the people who's palms she read, so that was pretty useless. The interesting mother in the story wasn't present most of the book, so I was very indifferent towards her. I have read .99 books that were much more interesting.
It is very disappointing to put so much time into reading a novel, and at the end realize that I wasted it. I am sure that this author will write much more interesting books in the future because she does have a way with words.
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