Phyllis Schieber Author

Women's Fiction by Phyllis Schieber

Willing Spirits

Willing Spirits Cover

Phyllis Schieber’s graceful debut novel is the story of two friends leading lives most women will find familiar. As Jane Hoffman and Gwen Baker attempt to understand their roles as daughters, wives, mothers and lovers, they depend on their friendship to cushion their disenchantment and to celebrate their triumphs.

Jane Hoffman, a schoolteacher in her forties, is forced to confront her reasons for remaining in an unhappy marriage when she finds her husband, Arnold, has been unfaithful. His indiscretion hurls Jane into a new life that is alternately terrifying and gratifying. Her love for her daughter Caroline is also tested when an unforeseen event forces Jane to prove that a mother’s love has no boundaries. As Jane negotiates her own murky logic for making the choices she has, she comes to see herself as far more able than she had ever thought.

Gwen Baker, also a teacher and in her forties, survives a rigid Southern upbringing only to marry an egotistical and cruel professor who later abandons her, leaving her to raise their sons, Matt and Ethan, alone. And while she occasionally takes a lover, nothing really satisfies her. It is Jane who ultimately coaxes Gwen out of her isolation. Together they discover that the conflicting and binding roles women assume be endured without other women. Even after Gwen meets Daniel, a colleague’s husband, and finds love, it is Jane who offers the spiritual solace that only another woman can.

Willing Spirits is no ordinary love story. It is a sensual and understanding story about the struggle to heal from failed maternal relationships, the passionate love women feel for their children, the lure of sexual desire and attachment to men who consistently disappoint, and the bond women share that makes it all tolerable. Suffused with humor and tenderness, Willing Spirits is a celebration of love in all its guises—between man and woman, between parent and child, and above all, between women.

For more information about Willing Spirits – click Willing Spirits in the category list or click here to see all posts about Willing Spirits and the characters in the book.

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