I love a good story featuring a strong, independent woman ascertaining her own power – her own voice. The Change features three such women staring down midlife crises while struggling with the tough hand dealt them by life.
It would be easy to fold, but instead they combine their newly discovered powers to challenge the status quo and thumb their noses at men who have relegated them to lesser positions in life. The end result for readers is a fantastic blend of genres including fantasy, mystery and women’s fiction with a heavy side of social commentary all rolled into one high action, graphic story that I believe will appeal to readers across the board.
Three middle age women who have been dished by the men in their lives in one way or the other are dealing with the dreaded “change” and they resent it. Is this it? Is life over? It wasn’t supposed to be like this. When faced with more of the same old, same old, they must decide what they will do with the rest of their lives. Forming a friendship leads to each of them realizing and sharing their individual special gifts with the others. Nessa hears voices as her grandmother did before her – of people who have passed on. Harriet is a plant guru and healer, and Jo can channel all the rage she’s feeling through her body and into other objects. When the three band together to seek revenge for a brutally murdered seventeen-year-old girl, no force on earth can stop them from hunting down and eradicating the evil hiding in this town. They’re on a mission for justice and revenge for the dead girl/s discarded like yesterday’s trash, for all the injustices women have suffered at the hands of men, for the poor, the forgotten, the lost. In doing so, these three hellions blaze a path of fury through the wealthy city of Mattauk, Long Island. Heaven knows, the self-claimed entitled residents’ money won’t protect them from these three as they put the world on notice. They’re taking it back.
The Change is a stunning story that runs the gamut of human emotions. Readers are sure to find themselves cheering these women on as I did – laughing and hollering one minute and raging mad the next – producing the perfect balance to keep me turning all 500+ pages as the stakes are raised and the violence escalates. The author’s expertise at interspersing wit and sarcasm into the grim story line helps tone down what might otherwise be considered male bashing, although one can argue that most men in this book certainly deserve what they get. Nessa, Harriet and Jo may be considered vigilantes – and I guess on one hand they are – but I see them as women coming into their own, shedding the roles forced upon them by society and welcoming their new found freedom and the many changes occurring in their lives. It’s powerful watching them come to the realization that they’re more than they’ve been told, that life isn’t over at forty or fifty or even sixty. It’s out there waiting for them if they’re brave enough, strong enough to seize it with no fear.
Miller has rendered an epic, genre-defying, action-packed story featuring a mixed smorgasbord of genres with something for everyone. She flawlessly weaves in backstory, pulling readers in as they learn where these women came from and what sparked and fueled their rage. Support characters’ stories are also shared, making readers privy to what drove them to become the people they are – good or bad. The end result is an intimate connection with almost all of the characters. The pursuit of a serial killer serves to drive this story forward at a breakneck speed through twists and turns to the final reveal. Miller brilliantly wrestles the multitude of threads together by the end, turning them into a masterpiece – an extraordinary story that flows from beginning to end showcasing several tough social issues with humor and grace.
The Change is for every person of a certain age who has been passed over, turned down and made to feel somewhat less. It’s raw, at times dark and yet inspirational. I hope readers catch the double meaning of the title The Change and embrace this book with all the wonder and excitement it so richly deserves. Readers of all genres – fantasy, mystery, women’s fiction, realism – I highly recommend this book. Don’t let the classification or the long length deter you. The Change is simply phenomenal. The book to read in 2022!
Fantasy Thriller Features