Title: Spare Change
Author: Bette Lee Crosby
Published: October 2011 – Bent Pine Publishing
Synopsis: A Woman who is Superstitious to the Core…
A Boy who claims his Parents are Dead…
A Murderer who wants to Silence the Truth of What Happened.
Olivia Westerly knows what she knows—opals mean disaster, eleven is the unluckiest number on earth and children weigh a woman down like a pocketful of stones. That’s why she’s avoided marriage for almost forty years. But when Charlie Doyle happened along, he was simply too wonderful to resist. Now she’s a widow with an eleven-year-old boy claiming to be her grandson…
With a foul mouth, dark secrets and heavily guarded emotions, Ethan Allen Doyle is not an easy child to like. He was counting on the grandpa he’d never met for a place to hide, but now that plan is shot to blazes because the grandpa’s dead too. He’s got seven dollars and twenty-six cents, his mama’s will for staying alive, and Dog. But none of those things are gonna help if Scooter Cobb finds him.
My take: Set in 1950s Virginia, Spare Change is the story of Ethan Allen Doyle, a young boy who is truly a victim of his circumstances. He’s a child of selfish and bitter parents who treat him pretty much as insignificant baggage. He learns early on how to survive and make do. It was easy to cheer for him. As dark as his life seemed, it grew much darker on one particular day.
Life changed for Ethan Allen and it soon changed for Olivia, his grandfather’s widow, in ways that would prove to be challenging as well as life-affirming. They both learned that if you have love in your life you can look evil in the eye and triumph.
I’m so glad the author asked me to read her novel. A classic tale of good vs. evil, it’s a page turner to be sure. Spare Change is filled with memorable characters that add humor and compassion. From the weary detective to the residents of Olivia’s apartment complex, I enjoyed them all. Recommended.
Disclosure: I received a review copy from the author. I was not compensated for my review.