The Change was the latest novel I read for my book group. Being a ‘woman of a certain age’ myself I was intrigued by this book described as a menopause thriller! I bought my copy when it was on a 99p Kindle offer although it’s still just £2.99 for the ebook if you fancy a copy yourself.
About the book
Nessa: The Seeker
Jo: The Protector
Harriett: The Punisher
With newfound powers the time has come to take matters into their own hands…
After Nessa is widowed and her daughters leave for college, she’s left alone in her house near the ocean. In the quiet hours, she hears voices belonging to the dead – who will only speak to her.
On the cusp of fifty Harriett’s marriage and career imploded, and she hasn’t left her house in months. But her life is far from over – in fact, she’s undergone a stunning metamorphosis.
Jo spent thirty years at war with her body. The rage that arrived with menopause felt like the last straw – until she discovers she’s able to channel it.
Guided by voices only Nessa can hear, the trio discover the abandoned body of a teenage girl. The police have written off the victim. But the women have not. Their own investigations lead them to more bodies and a world of wealth where the rules don’t apply – and the realisation that laws are designed to protect villains, not the vulnerable.
Now three women will avenge the innocent and punish the guilty. IT’S TIME.
Well I admit that I thought the start of the book was a bit strange as we were introduced to the women. There’s Nessa who sees and hears the ghosts of murder victims. Jo who has channelled her energies into her Furious Fitness gym business. Then there’s Harriett with her house and garden gone wild. She happily strips off in her garden and doesn’t care who see.
I did get into the book though and was intrigued by the three women channelling their energies to solve the serial killer mystery. I suppose you have to suspend belief a bit to accept the rather strange abilities the women have. In particular I thought that Jo’s ability to do what she does with her rage was amusing. There was an element of what Jo said at one point I completely agreed with when she talks about pure entertainment being made out of dead women’s bodies: “Books, movies, shows, podcasts. They all turn the murderers into super villains with comic book names. It’s all about The killers not the women they kill” . This book certainly redresses that balance.
I was furious at the police chief Rocco in particular for the lies he told. He twisted the whole story for his benefit and made it look like a lot of what happened was the women’s fault. I think the women would have been taken in for questioning when so many men died or disappeared or had an accident after contact with them! Although there were many really awful characters, I felt a lot of the book was overly anti-men. Only Art and Franklin came across as good guys.
I very much agreed with some of the sentiments regarding menopause as summed up by one of the characters: “Why do you think women keep going for thirty years after our bodies can no longer reproduce? Do you think nature meant for those years to be useless? No of course not. Our lives are designed to have three parts. The first is education. The second, creation. And in part three we put our experience to use and protect those who are weaker. This third stage… can be one of incredible power. “
I thought the book was maybe a bit longer than it needed to be and there was sometimes a bit too much back story for me. However, overall I found it very entertaining. It’s certainly very different from any thriller I’ve read before!
And what did my book group think? Well, it’s fair to say we had very mixed opinions which gave us plenty to talk about!
The Change is published by HQ in hardback, ebook and audiobook.
The paperback is due to be released in April next year.
About the Author
Kirsten Miller grew up in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina. At seventeen, she hit the road and moved to New York City, where she lives to this day. Kirsten’s first adult novel, The Change, is a feel good feminist revenge fantasy–with witches. The Change is a Good Morning America Book Club pick for May 2022. Kirsten also the author of over a dozen middle grade and YA novels, including the acclaimed Kiki Strike books, which tell the tale of the delinquent girl geniuses who keep Manhattan safe, and How to Lead a Life of Crime. She is not the Kirsten Miller who wrote All That Is Left (which appears on the list of the books she’s written), but she assumes that Kirsten is lovely and talented.