Friday, November 30

Book Review: Small Change


Title: Small Change

Author: Elizabeth Hay

Pages: 244

Summary: These twenty superbly crafted linked stories navigate the difficult realm of friendship, charting its beginnings and ends, its intimacies and betrayals, its joys and humiliations. A mother learns something of the nature of love from watching her young daughter as she falls in and out of favour with a neighbourhood girl. An intricate story of two women reveals a friendship held together by the steely bonds of passivity. A chance sighting in a library prompts a woman to recall the “unconsummated courtship” she was drawn into by a male colleague. With trenchant insight, uncommon honesty, and dark humour, Elizabeth Hay probes the precarious bonds that exist between friends. The result is an emotionally raw and provocative collection of stories that will resonate with readers long after the final page.

Contents:

The Friend
The Fire
C├ęzanne Soft Hat 
The Kiss 
Johnny's Smile
Hand Games
Overnight Visitor
Secondhand Rose
The Fight 
Cowgirl 
A Personal Letter 
Sayonara
A Clear Record
The Parents
The Reader
Purge Me with Hyssop
Makeup 
Earrings
January Through March
Several Losses

My Rating: 6.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book:  This was a short story collection I was looking forward to, and while it did fall a little under my expectations, it wasn't bad. As with most short story collections, there were some I enjoyed, and some I didn't - unfortunately for this one I found there weren't as many individual stories I enjoyed. Both The Friend and Sayonara stick out as memorable for me. Particularly  The Friend, I think the author did a fantastic job with that story at capturing the different elements of childhood friendship, it was well written and very realistic.

One of the biggest issues I had was connecting the short stories together. It was suppose to be linked stories, but I didn't get the feeling while reading them they were linked. Vaguely perhaps, but it didn't come together as well as I would have liked. There always seemed to be that one thing missing to pull everything together more coherently.

Not my favourite collection, but not a bad read either.  

Would I recommend it to read: I'm a little on the fence with one, but I probably would. While I didn't love the book, I think a lot of short story readers would enjoy it.

What to read next: Late Nights on the Air



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