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THE PHANTOM LIMBS OF THE ROLLOW SISTERS By Timothy Schaffert August 4, 2012

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.
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          Let us all take a minute to rejoice for the wonderful library service of inter-library loans. If your library system doesn’t have a selection you want, they can order it for you from others. And that’s what my county library had to do in order for me to get my hands on this novel.
     The book is about Lucy and Mabel, sisters who run a really crappy antique shop left to them by their grandmother when she abandoned them. The things have been there forever and are covered with dust; yet someone did manage to purchase a rare Indian blanket from them for a song and made a fortune at auction for it. The sisters’ father committed suicide when they were children and their mother has been gone more years than she had been around to raise them. The town is, being in a Schaffert novel, full of eccentrics. A young girl who fried her brain years ago is thought to be able to communicate with the dead so everyone goes to her with hopes of speaking to their dead loved ones. It is there that Mabel falls in love with a family who lost their youngest girl in a drowning tragedy. Lucy, meanwhile, is in Mexico marrying a man she immediately leaves to find her mother. She does find her, at a convent winery, and is dismayed to discover she now has a man, and his daughter, in her life.

     The Lycan Librarian doesn’t usually reveal the plot in her reviews, but it’s Schaffert’s prose that makes his books worth reading. What actually happens is secondary to the writing and characterization. Although a reader wouldn’t find much to do in this small Nebraska town, they’ll still want to linger there, just to be with the sisters. This is a perfect summer and/or book discussion read.

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