Author: Bette Lee Crosby
Publisher: Bent Pine Publishing (September 27, 2011)
A Woman who is Superstitious to the Core…
A Boy who claims his Parents are Dead…A Murderer who wants to Silence the Truth of What Happened.
Olivia Westerly knows what she knows—opals mean disaster, eleven is the unluckiest number on earth and children weigh a woman down like a pocketful of stones. That’s why she’s avoided marriage for almost forty years. But when Charlie Doyle happened along, he was simply too wonderful to resist. Now she’s a widow with an eleven-year-old boy claiming to be her grandson.
Winner of a Royal Palm Literary Award…Spare Change is a quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about the important things in life, the madcap adventures of a young boy and a late change of heart that makes all the difference in an unusually independent woman.
With a foul mouth, dark secrets and heavily guarded emotions, Ethan Allen Doyle is not an easy child to like. He was counting on the grandpa he’d never met for a place to hide, but now that plan is shot to blazes because the grandpa’s dead too. He’s got seven dollars and twenty-six cents, his mama’s will for staying alive, and Dog. But none of those things are gonna help if Scooter Cobb finds him.
Spare Change was my first book that I received from a Goodreads group I belong to called Sisterhood of the Traveling Book. It’s a great concept, where a book can get passed along and read by many different people. There is opportunity for discussion and in this case, the author is even a member, and I would imagine that she would be available for discussion and questions.
The best part of this great group is that there are many generous authors that donate a book for traveling. This not only creates a buzz for the book, but it puts those authors in a different light, especially to readers like me. Spare Change is probably not a book that I would normally pick up on my own. I am so glad that I found the Goodreads group, that I chose a book that was generously donated, and that I had the opportunity to read something that I might not normally find on my own.
Spare Change is set in about the late 1950’s/early 1960’s and is the story of a woman who chose to have a successful career instead of getting married and having children, and a child who loved his mother more than anything, and how fate and love brought them together. The book paints a picture of Olivia finally finding love and happiness at the mid-point of her life only to have it taken away as quickly as it came. It shares the story of a young boy named Ethan Allen who I instantly fell in love with mostly because of his foul mouth and craftiness, but also because of the tragedy that no child should ever have to bear witness to. The ancillary characters in the book were well-described and each was important, even the ones with the smallest part to play actually ended up being more than the overall big picture that I think the author was to convey. If it weren’t for a driver, fate would never happen.
Through words, Bette was able to show sadness, happiness, love, fear, and friendship over the course of a tale that at times had me holding my breath and other times had me laughing out loud. I loved how two people who may have never had the opportunity to meet were brought together, but I was sad because the circumstances for both Olivia and Ethan Allen had to be ones of tragedy in order for them to find each other.
The other aspect of Spare Change that I really enjoyed was that friendship played a big role, especially for Olivia. After the tragedy in her life, she had to find not only a friend in herself, but in others. And Bette was able to show that friendships born out of tragedy can sometimes be some of the strongest one is able to have in their life, and that friendship will carry them through.
I am definitely going to look into Bette Lee Crosby's other books, because I think she would be a great author for my book club! I’m sure she wouldn’t mind her books being discussed over cold beers on a hot Florida evening!
|Bette Lee Crosby|