2 out of 4 stars
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Small Change is a fiction novel by Keddie Hughes. The novel revolves around a middle-aged woman stuck in a marriage that is turning wearisome day by day. The book is set in Glasgow in Scotland around 2012 when Rangers football club faced financial difficulties and was liquidated. The book touches various key topics like the effect of alcoholism, football sectarianism, middle-age problems, and murder mystery.
Izzy and Jim have been promptly married for about 20 years with a teenage son Dave. Jim is a little bit chauvinist spouse who undoubtedly feels he is the best husband because he is thoughtfully providing all the facilities for his lovely wife and typically expects Izzy to sincerely believe that wholeheartedly. But truth to be promptly told, their stable marriage is detreating day by day because of his rampant alcoholism and his emotional unavailability to his wife’s wishes. The drama unfolds when the charismatic reporter Sean Docherty enters Izzy’s life in the citizens’ advice bureau where she volunteers. She hopelessly falls into his irresistible attraction while helping him in a case for his reporting job. He entices her, unlike her husband. Conflict arises when Izzy has to decide where she has to steer her life to repair her failing marriage or enter an adventurous life with Sean.
The book is written accurately. The story and the characters are relatable. Jim’s character shows the age-old notion in husbands where they think all wives naturally want is monetary gifts and believes their wives are far too ideal in every aspect and can’t digest when she cracks a little. Izzy’s character is everyone’s life. Conflicting between heart and head. To be in a relationship because it is stable with some necessary adjustments or to be relationship your heart desire even though it is wrong. A few notable incidents in the book like the murder of a football fan or financial crisis is inspired by real life. Effects of alcoholism on relationships or our health are shown clearly which can be helpful. The minor untold needs in a relationship, which a partner should understand, are written elegantly, like when Jim talks about Izzy’s assignment for college struck my heart. Many people think we need to be supportive of our loved ones and in turn have over belief in them by declaring always, they can do everything. But to be honest, your loved one can’t just climb Mount Everest merely because your partner thinks they can or you believe they can. Certain qualities are needed which you should discuss gently. I am not saying just tell everyone your brutally honest opinion but at least you should be able to discuss both positives and negatives with your partner.
There are no noticeable errors in the book grammar wise but story-wise they are many. As a reader didn’t grasp the importance of murder to the life of Izzy. I don’t require everything to be exact black and white but cheating in a relationship is a big no. I could reasonably understand Izzy’s attraction to Sean, but I didn’t appreciate her conscious decision to cheat on her husband and feel good about it is not the main character one hopes for. She lacks courage in confronting the truth. She thinks of killing her husband and hides her fling from both her partner and son and doesn’t regret it. I didn’t like Jim too but at least he was honestly thinking he is hurting his wife and was regretting his every action. Not even in the end, Izzy tells her son about her faults; she acted like she was the epitome of moral righteousness. Ultimately, Izzy was just a middle-aged housewife who simply required a little action in her boring life.
I will rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. If Izzy hadn’t cheated or at least she was sincere with her son in the end when Dave was thinking worst about his father, I would have rated this work more stars. If the reader doesn’t mind grey in a story or know or want to understand about sectarianism in Scotland, they will enjoy this book. This book is for adults who like a romance novel written in a diverse style.
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