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The Grift by Debra Ginsberg
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The Grift

by Debra Ginsberg

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Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
Interesting premise. Woman works as a psychic and midway through her life, realizes she truly has a gift to see in to the future. The writing was stodgy though and sometimes I felt like I was plowing through sludge. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
I got this book because the premise was an interesting one. I actually loved this book and it is truly one of my favorites I've read this year. The book is about a psychic who thinks she can just read people and make good money pretending to be a psychic. However, when she meets a strange man, her world gets turned upside down and realizes her psychic abilities are real.

For the rest of the review, visit my blog at: http://angelofmine1974.livejournal.com/71490.html ( )
  booklover3258 | Apr 28, 2014 |
I truly enjoy Debra Ginsberg's gift of storytelling. The Grift is the story of a woman who learned the techniques of cold reading and pretending to be a psychic to protect herself in childhood. Marina makes this her living, all the while determined to "retire" after earning enough money.

Her move to San Diego and building a client base of rich, low self-esteem, needy people goes fairly well. Until the day she meets the Mysterious Stranger (duhn duhn duhn) and things go sideways. Now she's really got the "gift" and it interferes with her ability to keep her clients happy.

Things fall apart, people go mad blaming Marina for things she has no control over. That's what needy people do. Wrap it up in one big angry scene, in which murder is revealed, Marina's life gets back on track and everyone sorta lives happily ever after. ( )
  AuntieClio | Nov 2, 2013 |
A great read about a fake psychic who finds out she really has the gift. All this while solving a mystery. ( )
  knitwit2 | Apr 27, 2011 |
Marina Marks is a fake psychic. She developed a keen ability to read people as a method of self-preservation – it helped her survive her drug-addicted mother and the string of shady boyfriends that hung around them. Her mother stuck a deck of tarot cards in Marina’s hand and she became a revenue stream, one more way to scrape the money together for another buy. And it protected Marina:

“Her razor-sharp powers of observation and her natural talent with her mother’s worn-out set of tarot cards saved Marina from molestation on more than one occasion, because while these men were too morally impaired to see the wrong in having sex with a girl her age, they were too scared to attempt the same thing with a freaky little witch. At least, most of them felt that way.”

Marina has turned her self-preservation into a lucrative career: she provides “intuitive counseling” to rich people who need to fill up their empty lives. She has her own guiding principles – she never gets emotionally involved with her clients, she doesn’t mind taking their money but she never drains them completely – but she breaks those rules twice and she pays dearly for it. In Florida, desperate to get away, she makes a mistake with a client. Although she tries to make good, it’s already too late. But when she opens her heart to a man she meets through her work, strange things begin to happen.

One of the things I found most interesting in the book is the way we get to see the damage Marina does, without meaning to. She gives her clients what they want – she reads their body language, absorbs their subtle clues and uses her understanding of human nature (including its darker aspects) to discern their situation and point them in the direction they want to go. The problem is that she gives them sonething to cling to, tells them that the universe has endorsed their idea. So when she tells a young man that this time he has found true love, he clings to it desperately. He clings to it no matter how hard the object of his affection pushes him away, to the point of destroying himself. She gives him an excuse to follow a terribly self-destructive path.

Marina meets an unusual man and unusual things begin to happen: she finds that she’s no longer faking it. She sees things. She knows things. And she doesn’t know how to deal with it. This is unlike anything in her experience.

“That Marina was now having visions that could be considered psychic and that those visions were not only unregulated and indecipherable but ruining her business as a psychic created a kind of cognitive dissonance within Marina that was impossible to reconcile.”

But she needs to come to grips with it quickly, because suddenly there is a lot at stake.

The Grift was an engaging read – it moved quickly and drew you into Marina’s story. She is thinks of herself as damaged, but she is really a survivor. She overcame a terrible childhood and made a life for herself. When her grift becomes her gift, you really hope that she can pull herself together.
  LisaLynne | Apr 24, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307382729, Hardcover)

What happens when a pseudo psychic suddenly gets the real gift?

Marina Marks has been on the grift as a psychic since she was a child, forced into the business by a junkie mother who was always desperate for her next fix—and willing to use her solemn dark-haired daughter to peddle an extra buck. As an adult, Marina has earned a handsome living preying on the dreams and fears of her clients. She doesn’t believe there is such a thing as psychic ability, but she does believe in intuition. Her gift is the ability to gain the trust of her clients and subtly raise her fees as they become more attached to her and her readings.

But when Marina moves her “intuitive counseling” business out of muggy, cloying Florida to the milder environs of southern California, her past follows her. As she takes on new clients—a trophy wife desperate to bear a child, a gay man involved with a closeted psychiatrist, and a philandering businessman who’s smitten with her—a former client resurfaces in an eerie way. Suddenly, Marina is in love for the first time, but it is a romance whose roots lie deep in her past and threaten her efforts to reinvent herself.

As Marina’s life gets more and more entangled with those of her clients, she makes a startling discovery: she suddenly has the actual ability to see the future. After predicting a murder exactly as it happens, she becomes the sole suspect. Now she’s the desperate one—desperate to clear her name and to discover the meaning behind her visions.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:27 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Using her talents as a fake psychic to gain the trust of her wealthy clients, Marina Marks suddenly discovers that she has gained the ability to truly see into the future, but after predicting the murder of her lover, she becomes the prime suspect in the crime.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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Debra Ginsberg is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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