4 out of 4 stars
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Small Change by Keddie Hughes is a wonderful book, categorised rightly as other fiction, because I summarised it as a motivational book weaved around a true story, involving a family disturbed by alcoholism and sectarianism.
The author is of Scottish origin and knows well about the murky business of sectarianism, sports and rising alcoholism.The main character Izzy is a housewife, juggling her life between volunteer service at the Citizens' advice bureau, pursuing a degree at the University and family.She is a sincere and hard working individual.Her husband,Jim owns the alarm company,Verisafe , and is a hardcore Glasgow Rangers fan.He has witnessed a young 18 year old Celtic fan being beaten up and left to die, and the fact that he has hidden this truth from his wife makes him turn towards alcohol.Jim and Izzy's son Davy is fond of music.
Now the basic problem of Glasgow is that it is divided between Catholics and protestants, Rangers and Celtics, Scottish National party and Labour party.The brewing friction in the society is the reason for the rising rate of alcoholism.
Jim feels drinking is the solution to drowning his guilt of having left a young boy to die, and also the tension of buying the contract of his company to the Ranger's Club, which is already being pursued by the media for bungling of finances.The journalist who is responsible for this case is Sean Docherty.Sean also happens to be uncle of Mark Docherty who was the boy killed by Rangers supporters.
And Izzy's"breakthrough moment",as the author says,comes when she meets Sean Docherty at her bureau.She is impressed by his personality and as their friendship develops, she gets firmer in her decision to take up a job at the Policy research department after completing her degree.She likes a statement made by her friend that 'knowledge does not form character,it only reveals it'.
This is what I liked about the book, the development of characters when they are confronted by crossroads and the decisions that they take alter the course of their destiny.
Izzy has to first take a domestic call which she had deferred for a long time, about leaving her alcoholic husband who has gone beyond repair, having made heavy losses at business as well as property.After that,her integrity is put to test by her boyfriend,Sean who asks her to leave her job at Edinburgh to join him at New York.This time she doesn't think twice before deciding in favour of her job over their friendship.
Jim's turn towards change is slower.He had been seeing a therapist to take control of his alcoholism, but he failed to keep his commitments.Later, after having lost his business as well as family,he joins a rehab,Whitehill Center, where he turns into a new leaf, after admitting all his mistakes.
These are the small changes that the author talks, which bring about a massive change in one's personality.And as Izzy's friend Bridget says, ' Don't be afraid of the height of the mountain, take one step at a time and you will be there'.
Once I began, I got hooked on to the book, so well the story flows.The therapist's sessions are also well fitted in between the chapters that they don't digress your attention from the main story.That is why I rate this book four out of four stars. I recommend this book to lovers of any or all genres.Just a small change here in behaviour,or a small step towards bettering a relationship.
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