Thursday, September 6, 2012

Characters Worth Remembering- Spare Change by Bette Lee Crosby

 Every once in a while I get hungry for a great adult read... I loved this and found Crosby's writing style warm and resonant. 

About The Book:  
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.

Winner of a Royal Palm Literary Award…Spare Change is a quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about the important things in life, the madcap adventures of a young boy and a late change of heart that makes all the difference in an unusually independent woman.

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.

First Line: I don't suppose there's a person walking tha earth who doesn't now and again think if I had the chance to live my life over, I'd sure as hell do it differently.

Great Passage: “It was an August afternoon when the sun was a ball of fire that would blister your face if you turned to look at it, but still they’d gone fishing. Tom remembered his mama saying it was too hot for such a thing but nonetheless his daddy loaded him into the truck and headed for Donnigan’s Creek—a place thick with weeping willows and cypress trees, a place so quiet you could hear the chipmunks breathing.” (p.163)
What Others Are Saying: Bette Lee Crosby’s Spare Change is a quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life, madcap adventures of a young boy and a late change of heart that made all the difference in the life of an unusually independent woman. More than anything, it is a heartwarming book, which is simultaneously intriguing and just plain fun.—Seattle Post Intelligence

I'm constantly looking for stories about older women evolving, so Spare Change filled that need. A couple of things I found noteworthy: the characters were multi-dimensional, the book was well-paced, the dramatic tension pulled me in and kept me hungry to learn more.” —More Amazon Reviews Here
What I Thought: Hands down it's Crosby's characters that wrap themselves around your heart and keep you reading. Many of my favorites are minor characters because Crosby does an outstanding job of constructing complex, quirky characters. The story is told from multiple points of view and I'm impressed with how carefully  she weaved them together to create a cohesive tale. The dialogue is snappy and the plot pulls you from the first page to the end. It was a lovely read and will stay with me for awhile. 

About The Author: 
Bette Lee Crosby  
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Award-winning author Bette Lee Crosby is originally from New Jersey, but now makes her home in Southern Florida where she lives with her husband Richard and a feisty Bichon Frise named Katie. A highly entertaining public speaker, Bette makes frequent appearances to support the various charities of women’s groups, and schedule permitting, she will join book talks and book club discussion groups.

In 1997 Bette abandoned the fast-paced world of advertising and embarked on a career as a novelist. 

What: Her books, frequently written in a Southern voice, cover a wide spectrum of locales and personalities as they tell tales of courageous women overcoming life’s obstacles. Her novels were first recognized in 2006, when she won the National League of American Pen Women Award for unpublished fiction with What Matters Most. In 2007 she won the National League of American Pen Women’s First Place Fiction Award for her novel Girl Child; and in 2009 her latest novel Cracks in the Sidewalk received the prestigious Royal Palm Literary Award from the Florida Writers Association; and in 2011 it won the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal. Bette has recently completed an biography of Lani Verner Deauville, the samazing woman who is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest living quadriplegic. This book, scheduled for release in February 2012 is titled “Life in the Land of IS…the Amazing Story of Lani Deauville, the World’s Longest Living Quadriplegic.” —Read More Here
Newest book:     

Have you read any of Crosby's books? What did you think?

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