WILLING SPIRITS by Phyllis Schieber

WILLING SPIRITS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A debut novel about two women whose friendship carries them over and through the many crises in their lives. Gwen Baker and Jane Hoffman became best friends. Both schoolteachers in New York City, meet at a Board of Education committee and gradually realize how much they have in common. Gwen's husband Theodore left her some years before, and she now lives with her lover Daniel. Jane discovers her husband Arnold in bed with one of his students and throws him out of the house. Jane's mother Dorothy is dying of cancer, while Gwen's mother Amanda still lives in the South and is cynical about Gwen and her affair with Daniel. Daniel may still be married to Sandy, who still looks after their children. It's not long before Jane begins having an affair with Caleb who's much younger than she is. Her children resent this, especially her daughter Caroline, who has just found out that she's pregnant. Caroline tells Arnold about Jane. Jane and Arnold have to figure out what to do about Caroline. And Gwen has unpleasant memories of something bad that happened to her friend Rowena many years ago when they were both growing up in North Carolina. A soap opera, plain and simple: Schieber seems to think that her characters develop personality by going through one trauma after another. Instead, they become figures on the page with very little life of their own.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0425225852
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Morrow