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Small Change Paperback – Import, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart; Unknown edition (2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771037910
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771037917
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,775,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on April 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
In this collection of episodes in an ongoing life story, Hay uses her narrator "Bethie" to vent a vast store of anger and resentment. Each story relates encounters between Bethie and other women. Men flit in and out of some scenes, leaving no prolonged mark. Bethie's interactions with each of the women is related with deep introspection, but none of them, Beth included, exhibit any depth. Not that any of the characters fails a reality check. Hay is too fine a writer to foist implausible people on the reader. The characters are carefully, even exquisitely drawn. The exchanges are nearly uniformly superficial, but Bethie's reflections and self-assessments on them are intensely revealing. At the end, you will ask yourself "could this woman be my friend?"
It matters little whether an individual episode begins or ends darkly - the darkness is there, persistent throughout the collection. Bethie demands, in her mind, much from her friends. Failure to deliver, or stepping from a preconceived image, arouses her wrath quickly. That anger is expressed, but entirely in her mind. Few shouting matches. No clearing of issues. Simply drifting apart or, in a few cases, some prickly rebounds. Being a friend of Bethie's is a high-risk investment with few rewards. In fact, none of the relationships revealed here could be remotely called "friendships" no matter how frequently the word crops up.
Although a disturbing read, the nomination for many awards this book received is testimony to its value. Calling the writing "honed" is puny understatement. Yet, what the book accomplishes remains elusive. Hay has offered none of her characters as a role model. Perhaps the real challenge in this book is inherent in its "women's view.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 24, 1998
Format: Paperback
Small Change is a beautifully written, emotionally challenging book of linked stories about friendships between women. This book has been nominated for a number of significant literary awards, including being shortlisted for Canada's Governor General's Award for Fiction in 1997.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. A. Lachance on April 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be all over the place and difficult to follow. I liked the female characters but just couldn't understand this type of writing. Descriptive yet frustrating. Too much work for me to enjoy, however, a talented writer.
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Format: Paperback
There is so much to like about this book. Elizabeth Hay reveals layers of tangled complexities between women and their friendships. There is a sadness mixed with humor and an intensity that isn't always comfortable, but it's real; and the writing is so superb and the characters so tangible you'll be thinking about them long after you've closed the book.
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