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Small Change    by Sheila Roberts order for
Small Change
by Sheila Roberts
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2010 (2010)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Heart Lake, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest, is home for three friends - Rachel, Jessica, and Tiffany. They are neighbours who get together each week for a craft night, when they make things, drink wine, and eat chocolate. One evening they talk about money and each confesses to having financial problems.

Rachel, now divorced, was once married to a dentist. He left her and their two children for a younger woman. This forced Rachel back into the work force as a substitute teacher, but she has learned her job could be cut. She has a new man in her life, but is not sure where the relationship is headed - and after her divorce she no longer believes in Prince Charming.

Tiffany is a young, married woman who loves to spend money. Maybe she is trying to fill a void in her life to deal with the pain of one too many miscarriages. Her husband Brian is worried about the state of the economy and his job, and has asked Tiffany to stop her needless spending. After promising she would, she continued hiding purchases and lying to him. Now he has left her and she is devastated.

Jessica and her husband Michael are empty nesters. Michael is a banker and has informed Jessica the company wants to move him to Ohio with less pay. If he stays he loses his job. Jessica does not want to move so decides to get back into the music business she abandoned years ago to start a family. They both regret not saving more, but with children to raise and everyday living, they spent freely. Now their grown son has returned home, unemployed and causing tension between Jess and Michael.

The women form a Small Change Club, a support group in which they come up with solutions to cut back on expenses. Tiffany begins selling on E-Bay to pay off her debts and prove to Brian she wants their marriage to work. They start preserving jams and eating out less. All gifts are now handmade, and shopping is at consignment stores only. The women learn that making small changes in their spending makes a big difference in life, friendships, and relationships. Small Change is told with humour and wit, but deals with real life problems.

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