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Small Change Paperback – March 30, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The three friends in Roberts's (Angel Lane) light read are happily reminiscent of Sarah Strohmeyer's The Penny Pinchers Club. These Heart Lake, Wash., neighbors become divas living on a dime when harsh economic times hit. Still recovering from a miscarriage, Tiffany Turner is a shopaholic who becomes frantic when her out-of-control credit card spending prompts her husband, Brian, to leave her. Rachel Green is a struggling divorcée with two children who's just lost her teaching job and professes to not need a man until she meets Chad Alvarez. And stay at-home wife and former musician Jess, when informed by her banker husband that he might lose his job, wonders if she can be a rocker chick again. To cope, the Small Change Club members decide to simplify their lifestyles and take control of their future. Homing in on issues many readers can identify with, Roberts's women search for practical solutions to a common challenge with humor and froth. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The economic downturn has affected everyone in some way, even the residents of sleepy Heart Lake. Rachel is a substitute teacher and newly divorced; she takes care of the kids while her ex-husband uses the child-support money to support his new wife. Jessica’s husband just got downsized from his banking job while her adult son, also recently laid off, has moved back in, causing massive arguments. Tiffany’s husband is hanging on to his job by a thread while she just can’t seem to stop herself from shopping and racking up thousands of dollars in credit-card debt. The three women realize that they need to get their finances under control and start saving. With each other’s guidance, the women begin to save money, pay off their debts, and build better relationships with their friends and their families. Roberts’ fans will enjoy returning to Heart Lake and its enthusiastic residents, and most fiction lovers will enjoy this feel-good approach to today’s uncertainties. --Hilary Hatton

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; UNABRIDGED VERSION edition (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031259447X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312594473
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,852,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sheila Roberts lives on a small lake in the Pacific Northwest and has three children and one long-suffering husband. Her books have been printed in a many different languages. Her Christmas perrenial "On Strike for Christmas" was made into a movie for the Lifetime Channel and her novel "The Nine Lives of Christmas" was made into a movie for Hallmark. When she's not playing with girlfriends or on the tennis court Sheila can be found writing about those things dear to women's hearts:family, friends, and chocolate.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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A definite keeper!!!
Like the characters in Small Change, women today face similar situations daily.
Virginia Lloyd
A good light hearted read, that I would recommend.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Polly Poorhouse on February 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
Small Changes is really a self-help book thinly disguised as a novel. It follows three friends in financial straights: our heroine Rachel is reeling financially and emotionally from a divorce and is caught in the trap of trying to buy her children's affection; her friend, one-time rocker Jess has never had a job, and both her husband and son are facing unemployment; and pitiful Tiffany drowns her infertility sorrows by running up credit card bills on things she doesn't need and can't afford.

The women band together in a support group, getting wise about money and finding ways to increase their incomes and decrease their expenses. Of course, they live happily ever after and go on to build their emergency savings accounts in case a rainy day should strike again. The story is almost a morality play for financial control.

And it contains good tips, particularly for women who do not have to work full time. For them, the recipes for cordial and home-made jams to give as gifts instead of over spending on unwanted mall tschakas may make sense. Each of these women learn to transform their personal strengths into a way to make or save money.

For those who can't stomach a self-help book, this novel makes the advice easy to swallow.

DIsclosure: I received a free advance reader copy of this title.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary VINE VOICE on April 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
Small Change is about three women - Rachel, Tiffany and Jess - who are friends and neighbors. For different reasons they find themselves on the same financial boat and it is beginning to sink. Rachel, a divorced working mother of two, is coming to the end of a long-term substitute teaching job and can't find another job. Tiffany works at a salon and has a shopping addiction that she tries to hide from her husband. Jess, housewife and former stay-at-home mom, has a jobless grown son living at home and a husband who is about to lose his executive job. These women need money. Yesterday.
Sheila Roberts' latest novel holds a mirror to an issue faced by many people these days: financial difficulties due to job loss and related fall-out. Trying to compete with her ex, Rachel spends money on her children for things they really don't need because she feels guilty saying "No" to them. She realizes that the unnecessary spending has to stop when she sees the end of her paychecks looming. Tiffany loves finding a bargain and she finds herself in trouble when she can't pay her credit card bills - the cards she promised her husband she wouldn't use anymore. She's at the point of hiding purchases from her husband. Jess has a boomerang kid who sleeps until noon, surfs the web for a few hours looking for a job, and then heads out for the night to party with friends. That drives her husband crazy and results in shouting matches between father and son. On top of that, her husband's bank has been bought out and he's about to lose his job. Talk about stress!

In the past Rachel, Tiffany and Jess would meet weekly to make a craft, talk, share a bottle of wine, etc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jan Comsky on April 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
I just love this author. Sheila Roberts is a talented and wonderful writer. I enjoyed reading about Rachel, Jessica and Tiffany and the friendship between the three women. Through their financial "problems" in the book, they all come together for each other. I liked the romance between Rachel and her hunky next door neighbor Chad. What fun!
I look forward to all future books by this author. Thank you Sheila Roberts.
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