Friday, March 5, 2010

Small Change-Sheila Roberts

Small Change
Sheila Roberts
St. Martin's Griffin, Mar 30 2010, $13.99
ISBN 9780312594473

In Heart Lake, Washington, Brian Turner is anxious over money issues as he fears a lay-off due to the economy tanking. He has been tolerant of his wife Tiffany’s recent spending as she suffered a miscarriage, but now calmly explains to her that she can no longer waste money on her “bargains”. When Tiffany fails to cut back on her credit card use, he cannot take it any longer. He leaves his shopaholic spouse.

The Heart Lake Elementary School principal informs temporary fifth grade teacher Rachel Green that Ambika Sinj is coming back to work after being on maternity leave. Rachel was hoping for a permanent teaching position rather than subbing as the former means benefits for the divorcee and her two children since the rat Aaron dumped her and their money. No longer trusting in Prince Charming, she has another problem, Chad who wants her and the kids in his life.

Banker Michael Sharp informs his stay at home fortyish wife Jessica that though he remains employed his job has been centralized on Ohio though he has a local offer at less money. To supplement their income instead of moving to Ohio, Jess wonders if she could return to the music she gave up years ago to raise two kids, who now are adults; though one has returned to the nest.

The three neighbors form the Small Change Club to help each other cope with the impact of the downward spiraling economy by being a support group. Each seeks pragmatic solutions to financial woes.

This is an enjoyable look at the impact on three suburban families struggling with financial strain. The ensemble cast is powerful especially the three lead females who set out to make Small Change in their respective lifestyles in order to swim rather than sink in red ink. Readers will enjoy this fine tale as the heroines seek practical solutions to their woes.

Harriet Klausner

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