The Manicurist
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The Manicurist

3.05 of 5 stars 3.05  ·  rating details  ·  154 ratings  ·  29 reviews
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 co...more
Kindle Edition, 244 pages
Published (first published July 2011)
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Just finished The Manicurist what an amazing story.I really wondered why it was getting 5 stars by so many people but as I kept reading and decided that it's not a fantasy or paranormal book at all I started having second thoughts. Phyllis Schieber has done a outstanding job on what it is like to live with or know someone who is bipolar. From the rollarcoaster rides, to them not wanting to take the medication to them taking it and feeling better so they think that they don't need it anymore, to...more
This book had so much potential! However, none of what I thought could have been a great story transpired. Instead, it was a long, drawn-out process of Tessa giving herself grief over nothing, trying to second guess herself, and letting the choices of others influence her direction. To me, she could have been a great character, and she turned into a mousey one. She said she didn't like her "gift" and didn't like using it....yet she is a manicurist? What kind of hogwash is that? What a shame this...more
Edward Gordon
Phyllis Schieber, author of “The Manicurist” (Bell Bridge Books, July 2011, 258 pp., $12.40), does something very right and very wrong in this story about a woman who must decide whether or not to meet with her long lost psychotic mother.

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,...more
Had a bit too much of the implied supernatural for my taste. Palmistry and things like that. It was interesting to see the relationships develop throughout the book, especially related to the mother's mental illness. I just didn't like the tone of the book for some reason.
I thought that the plot was sort of strange (implausible?). I liked some of the peripheral characters better than the "heroine." The many typos interrupted a free flow of reading. I do not know if publishers have stopped hiring proofreaders but this book needed one.

The Manicurist is a Literary Fiction novel.

On the night that Tessa's parents died in a horrific car crash, her life became a puzzle of thoughts and emotions. There are many unanswered questions surrounding her parents death, like whatever happened to the body of her mother, Ursula.

As Tessa ages, her life is filled with longing, indecision and soul-searching. She chants mantras to push herself foward, a trait taught to her by her mother as well, she reads palms. Her job as a manicurist gives her...more
Kathleen Kelly
The Manicurist by Phyllis Schieber tells the story of Tessa and her mother Ursula and how the both come to terms with mental illness. It also tells the side story about her husband Walter and his family. A very poignant and endearing story of two women who are the same but oh so different. The story is told in the viewpoint of Tessa. As a result of a surprise visit to the salon she works as a manicurist, of an elderly woman, Fran, who tells Tessa that she knows something about her mother. Told w...more
Lindsay (Everyday Is An Adventure)
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.

My Thoughts:

First of all, check out that cover! Upon receipt of this book that was the first thing I is striking!

There were a number of things that struck me about this book, one bein...more
I really wanted to love this book. Really. Phyllis Schieber’s short story in The Firefly Dance touched me, and I immediately downloaded The Manicurist in order to enjoy more of her work. The sad part is, I didn’t actually enjoy the book at all. It is a very dark, disturbing, and yet somehow rather boring, account of a wife and mother struggling to overcome (or at least make sense of) her past. As the child of a woman with severe bi-polar disorder, she was often caught up in a role reversal situa...more
Occasionally, a book comes across my apple green leather reclining chair that merits a beautiful, professionally tempered cover and a hard back that will draw in lots of readers swayed by that glitz. I'm one of those who buy by cover art, so I know the pull it has. "The Manicurist" would be on the best seller list today, and in every one of your hands if it had a cover like "The Lantern." It is a quality novel with a fantastic story!

Phyllis Schieber isn't your typical author in her 20-30's with...more
Aug 05, 2014 Donna rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fortune-tellers and Palm-readers!
Recommended to Donna by: Found in a short story collection, The Firefly Dance
Great read for those of us into fortune telling, metaphysics, palm-reading! Magical with a family-drama edge, investigating husband-wife; mother-daughter; new-found relative relationships. Kept me engaged! (New author for me—“met” in the short story collection, THE FIREFLY DANCE.)
I liked this book. Not quite 4 stars but almost. A story about mental illness but not so much. Ending left me asking for more.
Nicely drawn characters and an intimate portrait of a dysfunctional family, with a daughter nurturing the mother and wondering, after her parents die when she's young, if she wished for her mother's death.

Turns out maybe her mother didn't die. Maybe she learned to cope on her own. Maybe she disappeared so her daughter could live a normal life...whatever normal means.

Some paranormal/magic realism involved when the heroine reads characters through the hands she manicures, but overall a nice read.
I borrowed this book from Amazon for free since I am a Prime member. It is actually quite different from what I thought it would be. I thought there would be a strong supernatural/ mystical element, but it was a very real story with believable characters and believable interactions/dialogue.
Michelle Ogden
I actually struggled with the rating on this book... almost went with 4 stars but I didn't care for the ending. It might have been a realistic ending but I didn't find it too emotionatlly satisfying. I really enjoyed the writing though... not a light read.
Michelle Vasquez
The Manicurist by Phyllis Schieber is a moving story about a woman who is tortured by an unresolved past.

Please read my full review here:
I enjoyed it very much. As a daughter and a mom, I was very touched by the story and even cried in the end. (Not many books make me cry by the way). Very good reading!
Oh one more thing. I don't think this book is paranormal/fantasy at all.
A very enjoyable, sweet book. It wasn't exactly the story I was expecting but I found it to be a good story of what it must be like to grow up with a mother suffering from mental illness. Very thought-provoking.
This was a good enough book, which dealt with the effects of mental illness on a family. However, I did not "connect" with any of the characters, and their relationships and conversations often felt contrived.
I'm not really sure what to say about this book. Nothing much happens and yet I couldn't stop reading it. So it did something right!
A different read. A readable story that is a little different. All about family and how our past impacts our grown up self.
Judith Teggelaar
A very good book -- worth reading. It deals with a daughter and her mother who has a mental illness. The ending is satisfying.
Extremely compelling characters within a story that you can't stop reading. A best bet!
This was a book about a woman who could see the future.
Neh... Its fine, but I'm just so over witches and vampires.

Great writing & characters. Loved it!
I thought it was a little boring!
Well that was waste of time.
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