I am thrilled to share with you a review from a book I recently featured in a blog tour. While that was just a spotlight, this is where I can show you how the novel really shined! The Manicurist by Phyllis Schieber really is a unique book and one that I highly recommend to add to your "to be read" list.
Tessa and Walter have, by all appearances, the perfect marriage. And they seem to be ideal parents for their somewhat rebellious teenage daughter, Regina. Without warning, however, their comfortable lives are thrown into turmoil when a disturbing customer comes into the salon where Tessa works as a manicurist. Suddenly, Tessa's world is turned upside down as revelations come to light about the mother she thought had abandoned her in childhood and the second sight that she so guardedly seeks to keep from others. A magical novel of secrets revealed and a family in turmoil, searching together for new beginnings.
First of all, check out that cover! Upon receipt of this book that was the first thing I noticed...it is striking!
There were a number of things that struck me about this book, one being the meticulously woven story of Tessa. When I started reading the novel, I immediately thought of another book I read recently called Ghellow Road by T.H. Waters. Both that novel and The Manicurist are stunning portrayals of life with someone who is mentally ill. I don't know if either of these writers have firsthand experience with this, but it definitely is something that they have mastered in writing about.
Another high note was how the author conveyed Tessa's character to the reader. I felt a lot of empathy towards her and I spent the majority of the novel really rooting for her to find peace with her past, present, and future and I think that is exactly what the author was striving for. I would even branch out and say that all of the characters in this novel were colorful and vividly painted and worth each turn of the page. I think this is the strongest point of the novel, and I wish all characters were painted this way - every book would be a treasure.
I did have reservations at first because it has been labeled as paranormal but the author did a great job keeping that to a minimum yet still encompassing some aspects that would fall into the paranormal realm. I don't have to have a huge paranormal element to be happy and this book was peppered with just enough to taunt the imagination but not too much that it was over the top.
There are so many REAL and RAW elements to this story, it is truly one-of-a-kind. You won't be disappointed with this read, and it comes highly recommended. This is the type of book that you find yourself thinking about days after you finish...that is how I would describe a successful piece of literature!
Many thanks to the author who sent me the book for review and a lovely set of cards.