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Posted January 12, 2012
Every once in a while you read a book with characters that touch you. It’s the kind of book you want to share with others. Spare Change is that type of book. It’s the story of a woman who fears marriage and children at a time when all women long to walk down the aisle. It is a beautiful, heartwarming tale about love, loss and unexpected gifts. It deals with a violent murder, a witness and those who wish to keep it a secret. Above all, this novel offers characters you won't soon forget. Told from multiple points of view, this tale seeped from the pages and wrapped itself around my heart. I loved Crosby’s writing style. She took me into the mind of each character and with the character of Ethan Allen; she touched my heart. I am the mother of three and I had this overwhelming desire to scoop him up and hold him. Olivia cracked me up with her fears and superstitions and touched me with her bravery. Ethan Allen's mother is a memorable character who will shock you with her antics. The folks within the apartment community were delightful and I loved the way they protected Ethan Allen. While Spare Change, could have been delivered in a dark tragic tone; Crosby focuses’ on the strength of humankind and the power of faith and love. I highly recommend Spare Change to everyone. I read this novel in a few hours, but it will stay with me a lifetime. In my opinion this novel could find itself on the classics bookshelf. This would make an excellent book of the month, as it is sure to create discussion and evoke emotions. I am adding Betty Lee Crosby to my list of must read authors. I want to thank the author for providing me with this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.
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Posted March 18, 2013
Spare Change is a wonderful, uplifting and heart tugging gem of a little book.
I love the southern “lingo” it makes me smile and reminds me of the time I spent in the south.
Olivia is a woman who is sure children will never be in her future, she sees no need of them at all.
Ethan Allen (I had a good laugh at this name!) is a little boy badly in need of some love and attention especially when he witnesses the death of his mother.
Afraid for his life, Ethan Allen runs off to find his grandpa but he finds Olivia instead and together with a zany cast of fun characters they find and fend off the man who murdered his mother.
Olivia & Ethan Realize love can conquer all and that they were meant to find and love each other.
I very much enjoyed this sweet book Bette offered me for review.
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Posted July 19, 2014
Posted July 10, 2014
When Olivia and Ethan Allen meet, it's a shock. She's a widow who doesn't like children. He is the eleven year old grandson of her late husband. They are both lost souls. Olivia's Charlie died during their honeymoon, She was only a bride for twenty-two days. Ethan Allen's parents were murdered and he was a witness. He's afraid to tell what he saw. Now he is running for his life to a grandfather he never met only to find he's dead. Will Grandma Olivia give him a safe haven and the love and security he needs? Can these two learn to love and trust each other? Bette Lee Crosby has outdone herself. Olivia and Ethan Allen are memorable characters that tug at your heart. It was touching the way the other residents at the Wyattsville Arms help and protect these two. The story is well plotted and filled with both heartbreak and hope. Spare Change brought me to tears. This emotionally intense story centers on love, forgiveness and trust. I love the writing of Bette Lee Crosby. They way she handles the interwoven storylines of Olivia and Ethan Allen is wonderful. This book goes on the keeper shelf.
I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
Posted June 26, 2014
This book is full of southern charm and wit. This heartwarming story pulled me in from the beginning and didn’t let me go. The characters are dynamic, endearing, and unforgettable. I would highly recommend this finely crafted, wonderful book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 9, 2014
Posted April 1, 2014
Posted March 21, 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I could totally relate to the "Grandmother" who didn't want children when she was young, yet changed her mind once exposed to one of age 11. I hope there are more stories like this around.
Posted March 19, 2014
Posted December 17, 2013
Spare Change such a wonderful book. I loved the characters and the dialogue. I would recommend this book and any by Bette Lee
Posted November 7, 2013
Posted November 3, 2013
Posted October 24, 2013
Posted October 18, 2013
Posted October 15, 2013
Olivia never wanted to get married or have babies. She thought having babies would get in her way. When she was 40 she did met and married the love of her life Charlie. Olivia was very superstitious and stayed away from anything to do with the number 11. On their honeymoon Charlie gave her an Opal pendant and she wanted nothing more than to get rid of it but because he gave it to her she wore it.
Ethan Allen is a young boy who has a lot of things going on in his young life. Someone murdered his family and he takes off to find his grandfather who he has not met. But on the way someone is after him because he knows who murdered his family.
This book will make you laugh and cry. It is a wonderful story by a wonderful author and is well worth more than a 5 star rating. If I could I would give it a big 10 star rating. It is such a great read. Be sure and have some kleenex handy while reading it though. You will need them. But you will laugh a lot also. :)
Posted July 7, 2013
Olivia left home because her father said he would disown her if she went to work instead of getting
married and have children. So she stayed single until she met Charlie. In the meantime Ethan Allen,
a child, sees his parents murdered and runs for his life to his grandfather who he never met but only
received Christmas cards from. If you like Fannie Flagg and Ann B. Ross books, you will just love this
book. I sure did. It is funny, sad, scary and refreshing.
Posted July 2, 2013
I enjoyed reading Spare Change immensely. It was funny, poignant and sad. While reading it, I found myself laughing, stopping to think, and by the end of the book, wiping the tears from my eyes. I look forward to reading the rest of the books written by Bette Crosby. What a wonderful way to spend a weekend - being entertained by a wonderful writer! Thank you, Mrs. Crosby. Margaret Schumacher - Port Saint Lucie, FLWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 16, 2013
This heart warming story is mixed with thrilling tension, a group of good and miserable characters, life affirming Christian philosophy, murders, a superstitious older woman, and a young boy who will tug at your heart.
Eleven year old, Ethan Allen, was named after a furniture store by his Mom who definitely did not welcome her son into the world with joy. Her only aim of life was to go to New York to be discovered as a great singing star. Her husband spent all his days working his farm, and was just interested in his wife for cooking and sex.
During Ethan Allen's first eleven years he learned to fend for himself while taking advantage of anything and everything around him. This included a little blackmail for food and lots of big dreams and irresponsible fun with his Mom. But life was not especially good as his Mom and Dad spent much of their lives fighting , then 'making up'.
While up the coast, Olivia has determined to never get married nor ever have lots of babies hanging on her all the time. Superstitions ruled her life--especially knowing that anything involving the number eleven will ruin your life for sure! Then at 56, she finds the great love of her life.
Passions grow wonderfully and dangerously. Events converge and this story grows in intensity as the reader becomes involved in all characters lives. Home grown southern philosophy intrigues: "If you ain't on speaking terms with The Lord, what right you got to ask Him to help out."
Bette lee Crosby knows how to develop her characters in a story that you'll remember for a long time after finishing her book. This book will definitely exercise your heart muscle!
Posted April 3, 2013
I wish I could tell the entire world about this wonderful book. It is the story of a woman who late in life marries and than finds herself a grandmother. I situation she was not prepared for. This is a very emotion filled book. I laughed- I cried- and as always I tried talking characters out of what they were doing. And at its heart it is a God filled story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 8, 2013
"The Good Lord don’t do things that way- when He sees a person’s flat out of hope and feeling dead broke, He slips a bit of spare change into the bottom of their pocket; not a lot maybe, but enough for them to get by.”
Olivia Westerly disowned by her father when she bucks tradition and holds down a job and decides not to marry and have children. She was 26 years old and considered a spinster and that was just fine with her. Olivia is very superstitious as well – Eleven is the unluckiness number ever and opals mean a disaster is about to strike. Then forty years later she meets Charlie Doyle and he sweeps her off her feet. Then life takes an unexpected turn. Olivia is alone again and there is n eleven year boy at her door in search of his grandfather.
What a moving story!!! Full of emotion and heartwarming!!
Told from several points of view Bette Lee Crosby has written a story that will stay with you long after you reach the final word. What starts as two stories slowly merges into one. Olivia is a woman very set in her ways with absolutely no desire to have children “weigh her down”. Then Ethan Allen, a young boy who has fought and survived everything that was thrown at him including seeing something no child should have to witness, enters her life and turns her world inside out. An 11 year old, with a very foul mouth and no trouble slipping whatever he wants in his pockets could easily send Olivia over the edge.
Woven into this story is also a crime to be solved. It is not really a mystery because the reader knows the criminal but it takes the courage of a character to come forward all the while knowing their life is in danger.
With a definite Southern voice – dark at times, a bit of humor, a touch of religion, fantastic characters for the reader to love and hate, and an unexpected twist, this book gets my highest recommendation. The book has won several awards and readers will know why. This one is a keeper, a story you will want to read again and share with your friends.