It's always tricky when a book purports to be "the only . . . you'll ever need," that's a very high barrier to clear. So it's nice when I find one that basically lives up to its hype.

Author Fenton writes in a very clear and direct manner and uses copious drawings to illustrate the principles described. Chapters cover the 'map of the hand,' fingers, major line, minor lines, and marks. There are also specific chapters for love, health, and how to make a print of the hand (in ink, to study later). While I can't attest to the accuracy of the information (the lines on my hand frequently don't match up to what is in the books), the few things I could identify seemed accurate.

There is a major flaw to this book: it is HIGHLY sexist. The chapters describing men and women make it seem like they are different species, and no overlap. With comments like, "a man with small hands is busy and works hard," and a man with firm hands will "keep you in the style you wish to be accustomed," "all women love shopping," the reader has to struggle really hard to keep perspective. Worse, these are the first two chapters, and I nearly didn't make it through.

Palmistry: Plain & Simple is a hard review to write. Fundamentally the information seems to be accurate and is presented in an accessible way, but the rampant sexism is a major negative.

Recommended with reservations.

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Sasha Fenton
Red Wheel Weiser, 2016
pp. 160 $14.45

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