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The Phantom Limbs of the Rollow Sisters

3.34  ·  Rating Details ·  131 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Abandoned by their mother after their father's suicide, Lily and Mabel live on their own in their grandmother's old junk shop in rural Nebraska. They are bonded by their loyalty to each other-and by their urgent desire to reconcile their own versions of the past. In what she means to be a rebellious act, Lily steals a car with her boyfriend and heads southwest to confront ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 6th 2003 by Blue Hen Trade (first published January 1st 2002)
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Apr 09, 2012 Ron rated it really liked it
One of the odder well-written books I've read in a long while. Author Schaffert crafts sentences in a beguiling way, piling up details and creating situations with the logic of dreams, propelling the reader along, until the book becomes a lot like getting lost in a fun house. And looking back at vantage points in the narrative, it doesn't all make a lot of sense. The Rollow Sisters (Mabel, not her real name; and Lily) don't have "phantom limbs" except in some metaphorical sense that's left to ...more
Jan 07, 2012 Sonya rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
The characters and almost anachronistic vibe of this novel elevate the story from run of the mill coming-of-age into the Nebraska Gothic and its undercurrent of regret, nostalgia, and genuine love its characters feel for each other. There's an oddball Anne Tyler-ness here, but the rundown rural Midwest town where the story's set is as much a part as the characters and their desperate need to connect and repair from unbearable abandonment. It's clear that this first novel was preparation for The ...more
Kalli M.G.
Jan 13, 2016 Kalli M.G. rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
Actual rating is about closer to a 3.5. It was a good read but the first half I have to admit I kept getting distracted only because the MC kept flittering between thoughts and little past stories so often that it barely held my attention. But it is a really interesting story. The ending... I'm not sure how it's an ending. I can sort of see how, but... I don't know.

I've been spending all day moving heavy stuff and traveling on the road and, to be quite honest, I'm too tired to explain it. I prob
Carol Lloyd
This is an engaging book to read if you can handle following a story of two young women who have been affected (who wouldn't have been) by their father's suicide and already-depressed mother's abandonment when they were young girls. Most of it takes place in the middle-of-nowhere Nebraska (enough to make some of us depressed on its own).
Laurel McFarland
Sep 19, 2016 Laurel McFarland rated it really liked it
I think there should be a genre called Quirky Midwesterns. Schaffert would be one of the masters! While I did not enjoy this one quite as much as The Coffins of Little Hope, I do enjoy his style, characters, and settings. He makes the story unfold before you, inviting your senses to fully participate in the reading of his books.
Sep 18, 2016 Afrikan rated it it was ok
Bored me idk. Didn't get very far into it
Judy King
I'm not sure if I'll give this book 3 or 5 stars -- sometimes it depends on how long the characters continue to live in my head after I finish the last page.

This strange tale relates but never unravels the story of a Nebraska mom who makes Mommy Dearest a candidate for Mother of the Year. When Mom takes off with just the latest of the truck drivers and wanna-be cowboys that cat wouldn't drag in, she leaves young Lily and Madeline (who decides to call herself Mable instead) at home to run Grandm
Aug 28, 2014 Laurie rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vanessa James-brooks
May 10, 2010 Vanessa James-brooks rated it it was ok
Lily and Mabel Two sisters who were left with Grandma after dad committed suicide, and mom ran off and just went as she pleased. Lily and her Boyfriend steal a car and head south west looking for mom, Madel who was left the antique shop because grandma left as soon as Mabel was old enough to take care of her sister. So Mabel decided to try to Commune somehow with her fathers ghost.
If you like depressive stories this would be up your alley.I felt bad for the two young Lady's ...I did not finish t
Ivy D-T
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 12, 2011 Kalen rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-reads
*** 1/2

I really like Schaffert's voice and I'm glad I discovered this book. My confusion is that it was hard to gauge how much time elapsed from beginning to end. I *think* it was just a few days, but an awful lot happened in just a few days, and that doesn't seem plausible.

Film rights have just been sold on this book and I'm looking so forward to that.
Jill Charlotte
Aug 11, 2012 Jill Charlotte rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
wonderful, stepping into another world where everything blends into everything else-delightfully unpredictable- page turning pleasure ... this writer is one of my new favourites... thank you Timothy
Nov 15, 2010 Akire rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The characters could have been more developed. I feel like this book could of continued for another 200 pages. Maybe he will write a 2nd book.
Bess Gillis
Mar 08, 2015 Bess Gillis rated it it was ok
Sadly disappointing. I wasn't able to connect with the characters or storyline. The writing felt a bit forced and affected.
Kyle DeCicco-carey
Kyle DeCicco-carey rated it really liked it
Sep 28, 2011
Collin Chlarson
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Feb 20, 2009
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Feb 02, 2013
Doms Candels
Doms Candels rated it it was ok
Mar 12, 2011
Dec 23, 2011 Daisy rated it liked it
Not bad. loved the reference to King Fong's, which, yes, is an actual restaurant in Omaha.
Michelle rated it liked it
Mar 02, 2011
Krinkcaur rated it really liked it
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Apr 30, 2010
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Christine rated it it was ok
Apr 26, 2011
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Author of five novels: The Swan Gondola, The Coffins of Little Hope, Devils in the Sugar Shop, The Singing and Dancing Daughters of God, and The Phantom Limbs of the Rollow Sisters. Director of the (downtown) omaha lit fest. Contributing editor, Fairy Tale Review. Assistant Professor in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln creative writing program.

"The Singing and Dancing Daughters of God" is part o
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