Friday, August 29, 2008

..a review of "The Grift"

The Grift: A Novel by Debra Ginsberg

Is it a Grift..or is it a Gift?

As a child, Marina was taken by her junkie mother to see a boardwalk psychic, who pronounced that the girl had 'the gift', that she was a true psychic. But Marina never bought into it for a minute. For her, the ability was something she actively developed, an intense ability at observation that enables her to see things about her clients that they seem unaware of themselves or need someone to parrot back to them. They hear things that reinforce what they want to hear and therefore are happy campers. And very good repeat customers for Marina, her bread and butter, “rich, dissatisfied and looking for meaning anywhere but inside themselves.”

But after a move from Florida to California, a move that made her do something she is ashamed of and that will come back to haunt her, things start to go amiss. A number of interesting characters come into her life, including one who seems to trigger the reappearance of her Gift.
Which brings all sorts of unforeseen issues...because it seems no one really wants to know the truth, about themselves or their future.

Now, to be honest, I am no believer in psychic ability, and if you aren't, don't let that keep you from reading this book. There is plenty of room in this story for you to make up your own mind about what is going on in terms of her abilities. The story is very well written, very readable, intriguing and suspenseful. There is a murder..and there is a love story.
But the real strength of the story is maybe in the characters. Marina, while she may have chosen a questionable occupation, is an intelligent and likable personage. Some of her clients make up a large part of the remaining cast of the story. There is Cooper, the handsome gay man, hopelessly in love with a closeted psychiatrist, Madeline, a young gold digger, desperate to have a child to hold on to her rich, older, and very angry husband, and Eddie, a philandering husband with just a bit of an obsession with Marina. And they will all play their part in how Marina's future will play out.

So, a strong recommendation on my part for “The Grift”, an entertaining, good read, the second novel of Debra Ginsburg.

I'm off to search out her first, “Blind Submission”, “the high-anxiety misadventures of Angel Montgomery, a book lover who becomes a badgered assistant to an extravagantly cruel, histrionic, and elaborately attired literary agent” to quote the Booklist write up on it.
Ohhhh, that sounds interesting!!


  1. I love good characters! I have this one in my pile and can't wait to read it :)

  2. I think you will enjoy it. I love a good plot, but when I look back on books that I really have enjoyed, 'good' characters are so important. Good.. not always nice or even likable but interesting. They often are what make a book most memorable.

  3. I also have this in my TBR pile but haven't gotten to it yet. Glad to see such a positive review!

  4. Also, I've tagged you here:

  5. yeah...thanks.....yeah, a whole lot.


  6. Thanks for pointing this out to me :) I always like to read others reviews after I post my own.

  7. Well, I thank you for your review that reminded my how much I enjoyed this book...and the fact that I then bought her first book and have not read it yet.

    I really need a year off work to catch up on the TBR pile.
    Let me rephrase that...A paid year off.

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