2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge
Tina has read 0 books toward her goal of 39 books.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

REVIEW for Sinner's Guide


Phyllis was also kind enough to answer a few questions for us - which you will find listed after the review!!!! and don't forget to enter the contest sponsored by Phyllis.



Wow! what a concept women who are still best of friends in their mid-50's. I loved this powerfully written book. The story of these three women is deeply touching and inspiring. I am a fan of chick lit, but, of course, most of the time, these novels preent us with perky little 20 something's who struggle through love, romance, sex and jobs.
Well, I am pleased to say that author Schieber has written her own version of a chick lit novel - presenting us with fully developed characters who are now all grown up and in their 50's but are still struggling with the same issues - which I believe shows us that the problems women face today do cross over the generations - its not only about the age.
Schieber deftly shows us that smart women, who, for the most part, seem to have their lives together can still struggle with issues both externally and internally and that what helps them get through it all are the bonds of friendship. I loved the deeply rooted ties that are formed between these women who manage to laugh through the tears and to still find the time to be there for each other.
This novel is written with humour, wit and a deep understanding of the female bonds.
BOOKSHIPPER is happy to interview author Phyllis -
Q)Your story reminds me of chick lit - i.e. instead of the 20 somethings, we get a more matured, seasoned circle of friends - but somehow still presented with the same problems that women in their 20's, 30's and 40's face - do you believe that it is a woman's "bad fortune" to basically deal with the same problems all of her life?

A) A reviewer on Good Reads actually said The Sinner’s Guide to Confession should have been called “The Secret Sex Lives of the Golden Girls.” I can only assume the reader was in her twenties and thinks (as I must have thought at that age) that women no longer think about or desire sex beyond the age of thirty-something. I don’t see myself quite as a “Golden Girl” just yet, but I don’t’ quite see the women in my novel as dealing with issues that necessarily fall into the category of “chick lit” either. The women in Sinner’s certainly have some of the same problems that women have in their 20’s 30’s and 40’s, but these women have far more serious issues to contend with in their late forties and early fifties than the problems that drive “chick lit.” I think that title trivializes the situations in Sinner’s.

I don’t’ think women have “bad fortune’ at all. Nor do I think they encounter the same problems over and over. While relationships certainly shape our lives over and over in the same and different ages, the women in Sinner’s have far different issues to overcome. Barbara’s secret identity, Kaye’s infidelity, and Ellen’s lifelong sadness over the child she was forced to give up for adoption are not examples of “bad fortune,” but they are examples of how hard it is to escape the past.
Q) What made you want to create a book about women this age?
I am a woman of this age!

A) Do you, yourself, have bonds of friendship that are this deep and meaningful?

Of course I do. I don’t know how any woman survives without close woman friends. My friends are my support, my secret keepers, my baseline—they mean everything to me.

Q)Do you believe that men and women can truly be friends?

A)Absolutely. I don’t think the friendship between a man and a woman can ever be the same as one between two women—or two men for that matter—but a man and a woman can be friends. It’s a challenge, and it requires a great deal of compromise, especially on the part of the woman, but it can be done, and it can be fulfilling in its own way.

Q) Where is your favorite writing spot?

A)My office. I don’t like to write anywhere else.

Q)How do you first get inspired to write the first chapter?

A)The first chapter is like a thesis sentence. It’s required to give some structure, but it is more often than not the most likely part of the essay to change. A first chapter is exactly the same idea. Inspiration? If I waited for inspiration, I would never write. I just sit down and write.

Q)Are you writing another book? if so, can you give us a little scoop?

A)I am more than halfway through a new work. It’s very different. Not at all about women. And there is very little sex. It’s about mental illness and how it affects a while family, not just the victim.

Thank you very much for answering these questions

About Sinner’s Guide to Confession:Kaye and Barbara are longtime friends, now in their fifties. Ellen, who is several years younger, develops a friendship with the other two women years later, solidifying this close-knit group. The three women are inseparable, yet each nurtures a secret that she keeps from the others.
About Author Phyllis Schieber:The first great irony of my life was that I was born in a Catholic hospital. My parents, survivors of the Holocaust, had settled in the South Bronx among other new immigrants. .In the mid-fifties, my family moved to Washington Heights. The area offered scenic views of the Hudson River and the Palisades, as well as access to Fort Tryon Park and the mysteries of the Cloisters. Her first novel, Strictly Personal, for young adults, was published by Fawcett-Juniper. The Sinner’s Guide to Confession, was released by Berkley Putnam and in March 2008, Berkley Putnam will issue the first paperback publication of Willing Spirits.
Win A Free Book from Phyllis Schieber – Its very easy to be entered in a drawing for a FREE book by Phyllis Schieber. Post comments on any blogs during the virtual tour and you will have a chance to win a book from Phyllis. One random person will win – but we are also asking visitors to share a secret and one secret will also win a free book. As a bonus the blog owner that hosted the winning comments will also win a book. Share some interesting stories and questions with Phyllis Schieber during her tour – and have a chance to win a book. For full details about Phyllis Schieber’s virtual tour, visit her tour home page - http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2008/12/sinners-guide-to-confession-by-phyllis.html


Wall-to-wall books said...

Excellent review and interview.
I am looking forward to this one, it sounds really good as does her next one!

Phyllis Schieber said...

Good morning, Tina! First of all, I am so delighted that you identified THE SINNER'S GUIDE TO CONFESSION as "Contemporary Fiction" instead of Chicklit, a term that I have been surprised to find used to describe my work. As I told you, I am certainly not offended, but it seems to me that the protagonists in SINNER'S deal with issues beyond the ones that involve men. On that note, thank you also for your kind words about the quality of the relationships I tried to create and develop. Where would we be without our women friends?
I look forward to hearing from readers. If anyone has a secret to share, I promise not to tell!

Phyllis Schieber said...

Now my neurotic self is worried that my first post never posted. . . or am I waiting for you to "enable" me and my neuroses?

Anna said...

I have a tour date at the end of the month, and I'll be starting this book soon. I can't wait! I like that the book isn't traditional chick-lit. The genre is evolving, and I'm glad.

Diary of an Eccentric

Kristie said...

Wow... this sounds like a great book! I am in my 20s but I love the Golden Girls and that line sealed it for me! I will be checking this book out! Great interview!

Donna said...

Great review, Tina. The interview was very interesting too - it touched on many of the issues women have deal with at all stages of adulthood.

Phyllis Schieber said...

Hi Wendy! I went out for dinner with some friends and came home to find your post. I'm so glad that you are interested in THE SINNER'S GUIDE TO CONFESSION. I will be looking forward to your response after you've read it. WILLING SPIRITS will be out in March. I am very excited about that as well.

Phyllis Schieber said...

Hi Anna,
I'm looking forward to our tour date as well. I am working on the guest post for your blog, and I am anticipating your review with much interest. I don't know much abut Chicklit, but if SINNER'S suggests the genre is evolving, then I'm delighted!

Phyllis Schieber said...

Oh, Kristie, I love "The Golden Girls" as well, but I'm not there yet! I am, however, delighted to have younger readers. I know many younger women who felt drawn to the characters. I will look forward to your response after you've read the book.

Phyllis Schieber said...

Yes, Myckyee, that is exactly right. The problems may not change, but we change how we deal with them. . . I hope so anyway!
Thanks for stopping by.

Phyllis Schieber said...

I went to a gathering yesterday for a friend who just turned sixty. I am several years shy of that, but I noticed that the other women, all between sixty and sixty-three (except for the birthday girl's thirty-year-old daughter), were remarkably fit and beautiful and, yes, extremely sexy. We shared memories and laughed a lot, but I was so struck by how young sixty is today, how sexual these women still are, and how much more there is to look forward to!

avisannschild said...

Great interview, Tina and Phyllis! It's really been fun to follow this blog tour!

Sue A. said...

Good interview! I’ll have to check out this blog tour.

Sue A. said...

Wonderful interview! And the review was enlightening.

I keep hearing the expression "Forty is the new thirty." And reading your comments you might also agree that, "Sixty is the new fifty."

Thank you for lightening my concerns about growing older.

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