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The Sinner's Guide to Confession
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The Sinner's Guide to Confession

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  142 ratings  ·  39 reviews
From the author of Willing Spirits comes �a novel of three women, their deepest longings, and their most profound secrets.

Barbara, Kaye, and Ellen, longtime friends, are inseparable�but each nurtures her own secret. As a widowed mother, Barbara hides her persona as a writer of erotica. Kaye is having an extramarital affair that reawakens her passion but fills her with conf...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Berkley Trade (first published 2008)
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Jul 16, 2008 Mollyhoke1019 rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Mollyhoke1019 by: I saw it on a table at Borders
this book is awful, I am not sure why I bought it. I can barely motivate myself to finish it. the characters are whiny, selfiindulgent people who are difficult to relate to.
A truthful book about intimacy among friends, but also the hesitancy to trust even our nearest and dearest with at least ONE deeply hidden segment of ourselves; there is always that one thing that might make us unacceptable. Schieber approaches all her characters’ entwined lives with humor and wisdom. She has the writing skills to make her characters real and vivid to us. She knows what makes women tick and understands why their close friendships are a necessary haven. More importantly for me, w...more
Each of the three main characters have a "secret" that they keep. Why? I don't know--it's nothing earth-shattering. They create needless drama in their lives, and it's all so predictable. Still, I did get sucked in enough to want to know how it ended.
Three women, Barbara, Kaye and Ellen, bonded in friendship and through shared experiences, each have a big secret. They have reached a point in their lives – a turning point, as it were – and must decide whether or not to risk sharing each of their secrets.

For Ellen, it is something that happened in her teens – a loss from which she has yet to recover. And when her husband betrays her with a younger woman, she suffers even more because of the earlier loss.

Barbara’s husband has just died, and as...more
The Sinner's Guide to Confession follows longtime friends Kaye and Barbara, who are now in their fifties. Kaye and Barbara soon make friends with Ellen, who is several years younger, but their friendship solidifies and becomes close-knit. The three women are inseparable, but each nurtures a secret.

The alternating narrators for the chapters keeps the reader guessing as to when the friends will break down all of the walls between them and share their deepest secrets. From a romance novelist hiding...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 31, 2013 Carmen marked it as to-read
I was disappointed by the book from the beginning, but plowed through since I feel I need to start reading books not part of the Twilight series.

What struck me, by accident, was the book turning into a story about a woman who gave up her child at 16. As someone who fervently believes in abortion rights people often speak to me about adoption and why doesn't everyone think this is the best possible scenario? This story speaks to the loneliness, the debilitating grief, and decades of anger and be...more
Melissa Parish
I love how this book shows that not everyone is what we may think they are. Everyone has their secrets, whether large or small, but it's how they're dealt with or who is included in-the-know that tells the real story.

This delicious read takes us through the raw emotion and nakedness of these women, these friends, exposing their flaws, their desires, their pain, their ecstasy and their humanness. This book carries the reader into every corner of those secrets, the deepest, darkest caverns of tru...more
Suzie Davis
Aug 10, 2008 Suzie Davis rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All women
Recommended to Suzie by: A friend
I loved this book. It was poignant and funny at different intervals. The characters struggle with secrets that vary in degree and intensity, but the point doesn't seem to be as much about the secrets as it is about how hard it is to open up to the people we love. I thought the writing was wonderful, and I read and reread the ending: it was perfect. I cannot imagine any woman who will not see herself in one of these characters. And the sex was really well done...worth the read in and of itself!
Ellen Cohen
Aug 12, 2008 Ellen Cohen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Ellen by: a friend
I could not put this book down, and I thought it was a perfect summer read. It was very entertaining, funny and also extremely sad in parts. I thought that even though the characters all kept secrets from one another, their motivations and conversations were honest and believable. I enjoyed reading about the secondary characters, also. Their stories really rounded out the plot and gave the book more depth.
Jessica Hayes
A MUST READ. Schieber's characters are rich and dynamic. They are so real any one of them could be someone you know. The novel as a whole screams best seller. You'll find yourself laughing out loud, wanting to cry (or actually crying), screaming in frustration as you sympathize with the characters and of course feeling a bit sexy. It is a real roller coaster of emotion. Needless to say I LOVED IT!
Story began quite promising and the problems and secrets they have are very real --- well except the erotic writer, I don't know what to make of her 'secret' but it seems she's there mostly for her blunt er 'witty remarks.
Though pretty soon I just couldn't make myself care about any of the characters and am struggling to make it to the end
"Sinner's Guide" is a delight from start to finish. The author's trademark humor sparkles throughout, and the dialogue crackles with wit. Gracefully written, it is at once funny and profound, and offers a moving testament to the healing power of female friendship. 'Sinner's Guide' is a perfect selection for book clubs. Don't miss it.
This book was a good read- it was hard to follow at first because it is narrated by 3 women. However, after getting used to the writing style you can easily tell which character is narrating the story. It is about the secrets that everyone keeps and the freedom that can be gained by sharing. The ending was the best part of the book.
I loved this book! It's a great story about the importance of female friendship, and the secrets three women choose to share. I loved the development of the characters and the different relationships that they have with one another. It is also extremely well written. A++
Phyllis E.
Phyllis Schieber's writing is exceptional, but her content is even better. She knows what's in women's hearts and minds and she proves this by going where most author's won't go. She tells the truth. Don't miss this fantastic novel.
Jackie Loew
Aug 16, 2008 Jackie Loew rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all women
A great read, I totally enjoyed this book. Phyllis Schieber’s novel reinforces my feelings about the importance of friendships. She expresses this through her great storyline and character development. Don’t miss this one!

I am finally finished. Whew. This was ok. Eh. If it were a soup, it would be lukewarm and not a lot of flavor. I stuck it through to the end... barely. It definitely helped lull me to sleep most nights. ;)
Sue Meola
Awesome. Terrific story that gives insight into frienships, relationships and the dynamics of both . I really enjoyed reading this book and felt that I could relate to the characters and the theme .
May 06, 2009 Alida added it
Hey Stephani! Here is a page-turner girl-book that I am reading now. Put it on your To-Read Shelf, but don't read it until you are in your 50s. Lots of secret 50-year-old stuff that you don't want to know.
Read about 60 pages and then returned it to the library. Incredibly dull, poor character development, and too many characters that I didn't care about to warrent reading further.
Oct 03, 2008 Amber rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: The Golden Girls
Shelves: chick-lit
Best described as the secret lives of the Golden Girls, or for those who didn't grow up in the '80, Sex in the City in 15 years. Enjoyable, but probably more so if I were in my 50's.
Jacobo Rubinstein
Excellent read! Great tempo. Surprising, fun, profound.
It is worth reading, highly enjoyable and worth discussing with your friends. You may find surprising secrets in their lives!
Tina Margolis
Aug 10, 2008 Tina Margolis rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Tina by: I found in bookstore and was fascinated by the title
This novel is a deep and moving experience. If you are a reader of serious lit. and care about language and how it's used in narrative, pick this up and begin!
Thoughtful story about a group of middle-aged women's lives. Story of love, support and unconditionally given friendship. Funny at times, spicy at others.
Lynne Rocoff
Aug 11, 2008 Lynne Rocoff rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: every one
Recommended to Lynne by: the saleswoman in Borders in NYC
I loved this book and also Ms. Schieber's first book Willing Spirits. She creates characters that are remembered long after the book is finished.
Pretty typical. And, as a side note, call me a prude, but I can't believe adult women and their mothers talk about sex this frankly on an everyday basis.
This is an amazing story about friendship, secrets and forgiveness (or not to forgive). As an adoptive mother, I was especially touched by that storyline.
Diane Towle
Loved this book! It made me laugh and it made me cry. Want to read about what happens next to all these wonderful women and their families!
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