Friday, April 16, 2010

Small Change - Sheila Roberts


You know it's going to be a fun read when the first chapter starts out with a wife attempting to beat her husband home so she can smuggle in her newly purchased "bargains"! Only she drives too fast and gets a ticket. I've never gotten a ticket during my cloak and dagger missions, but have been known to shove shoe boxes in the bottom of a trash bag, leave bags in the trunk, and claiming that no, these shoes aren't new, I've had them for awhile.

And this is what you will find with Sheila Roberts' newest release...a mixture of some serious and not-so-serious issues experienced by three best friends, all told with a voice of an author who has been there/done that, and has learned to laugh at what life throws her way.

Rachel is recently divorced with two children, cannot find a full-time teaching job, and is struggling to make ends meet (while her wealthy ex flits about with his young underwear model girlfriend). Jessica is stay-at-home wife who lives a life of leisure. Until her son moves back home after losing his job, and her husband loses HIS job at the bank. Tiffany (my shoe-smuggling soul sister) is a nail tech with an addiction to shopping, presumably to drown her sorrows over fertility problems, and thus a huge debt problem. Between the three ladies, they decide to take their economic problems into their own hands, and support each other through the often hilarious process of making their own giftables, shopping on the cheap, and making better decisions for themselves. Through the roller-coaster ride of successes and failures, marriage problems, love interests, and crappy jobs, these women strengthen their bonds and learn first-hand the power of a girlfriend.

If there was ever a book that is a sign of our times, it is this one. There isn't a person in this country that hasn't been affected, somehow, by the economic crisis. What I loved about the story, besides the hilarious dynamics between Rachel, Jessica and Tiffany, was that there are actually some really good ideas here to help women analyze their spending personalities, and find ways to live smarter and within their means. Tips like bartering for services, entertaining your family and friends through game nights and potlucks, when to shop for the best deals, and even recipes for making your own blackberry cordial, which can be given as gifts.

Granted, by the time I got the end of the book, I had heard enough about frugality, but the the points were all well-made. The plot is also very predictable. However, my expectations of this book were not that it would blow my mind and keep me awake at night with soul-searching dilemmas. I wanted to read this book for fun. Which is exactly what I got.

I would like to thank Pump Up Your Book Promotions for the opportunity to read and review this book!

4 out of 5 stars










14 comments:

Beth F said...

I'm not always a good match for lighter women's fiction but this does sound fun. I'll keep it on my radar. I don't sneak in purchases but I have a lot of friends who do.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I was running with a bag of books to beat my husband back with a just yesterday!

Andreea said...

I must admit that I am a shopping freak. If my husband wouldn't stop my, I think I would spend all of our money. Wherever I go, I always see things that I end up buying. It doesn't matter what it is, it could be something for the house, or for the baby or anything else. But I always think that we need it. My husband is afraid to let me go shopping on my own:) Well, I think that almost every woman is like that, at least a little:)

bermudaonion said...

Oh, haven't we all tried to hide something new? This book sounds like great fun!

Zibilee said...

Heehee, I have done the smuggling as well. This sounds like a really fun book and since I could use some help economizing, it also sounds very helpful. Great review, Sandy! You have convinced me that this would be a perfect beach day read.

Also, I hope you have a wonderful time at your event this weekend!

Julie P. said...

Sounds very cute. I agree that it's sometimes nice to be entertained!

Margot at Joyfully Retired said...

My hidden stashes are books and yarn. My husband never seems to notice or if he does, I do the same thing you do - Oh, I've had this a long time. The book sounds like a fun read. Sometimes that's all I want.

Kathleen said...

This sounds like a good one to suggest for the book club I have with a group of women friends. I have a feeling we would have a lively discussion!

Iliana said...

Ha, ha... great opening chapter. I like a good women's fiction book every once in a while so I'll have to remember this one!

Darlene said...

Nice review Sandy. I'm looking forward to reading this one. It sounds quite good. I enjoyed Sheila's writing from her guest post today so I'm sure I'll love her book as well.

Lenore said...

I'm lucky that my husband is totally oblivious most of the time. I can sneak A LOT by him.

Jenners said...

This almost sounds like a self-help book disguised as a novel! And the only think I lie about is books ... I'm not much of a shopper otherwise.

Alyce said...

I think all women could probably relate to the temptation of buying something and trying to hide it. :)

Alice Teh said...

I want to read something for fun too and this sounds like a good one to do. I use my own money to shop so my husband can't really stop me or make me feel guilty.