Reviews for The change : a novel

Library Journal
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Widowed empty-nester Nessa James begins hearing voices and realizes that like her foremothers she can commune with the dead. Harriett Osborne remains indoors after both career and marriage crash, undergoing an extraordinary transformation. Former executive Jo Levison has always felt tortured by her body but realizes with menopause that she's found a special power she can deploy. The three join forces, guided by Nessa's voices, to discover the truth about a teenage girl whose body was cruelly dumped on a Long Island beach. From top feminist YA author Miller ("Kiki Strike" series); with a 150,00-copy first printing.


Publishers Weekly
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Miller, author of the Kiki Strike YA series, triumphs with her adult debut about three women who discover supernatural abilities during menopause, which they use to avenge murdered teenage girls in the New York beach town of Mattuck. Just as retired nurse Nessa James becomes fast friends with gym owner Jo Levison, Nessa realizes she can see ghosts again. When she was a child, her grandmother told her she had a gift, and that she’d be called upon later in life to use it, along with other similarly gifted women. Nessa intuitively seeks out unapologetic Harriett Osborne, a former ad executive who was pushed out of her career and now cultivates toxic plants like wolfsbane. Along with Jo, who can summon her fury and channel it into fiery strength, the trio attempt to bring peace to three ghosts Nessa encounters on the beach near Culling Pointe, where the billionaires live. After a client at Jo’s gym starts leaving clues about one of the ghosts, the trio is let down by police detectives who make their own motives clear. To say anything further would spoil this tightly plotted page-turner. Miller’s book is that rare treat: a suspenseful story with great pacing, memorable characters, and an engaging voice. Fantastic in every way, this fierce anthem against misogyny is a smash. (May)


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Miller, the author of the Kiki Strike series for young readers, has woven a pointed, punchy, and potent thriller for adults. The story of three suburban women reads as though Rebecca Solnit’s The Mother of All Questions (2017) collided with Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series and a dash of the TV show Charmed and produced a tale that is both a well-paced, supernatural crime novel and a keen examination of modern misogyny. The change occurs in a homogeneous Long Island town where Nessa, Jo, and Harriet are grappling with the variety of challenges that accompany middle-aged womanhood. They are brought together by both these typical changes of midlife and the unusual changes of emerging supernatural powers, which include Nessa’s ability to hear and see the dead. Led by Nessa’s encounters with the ghost of a young girl, the three uncover a terrible darkness that has long harmed, and often killed, women and girls in their town. They band together to use their unique gifts to discover the sources of this darkness and enact revenge. The Change is wry and clever, serious and exacting, and masterfully suspenseful in its conveyance of a deeply profound and feminist message.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Menopause brings more gains than losses for three women in this entertaining thriller.When menopause arrives for the three women who are the protagonists in this book, they dont bother with estrogen therapy or worry about chin hairs. They develop superpowers. Harriett Osborne kicks her high-powered advertising career and her dweeby husband to the curb and lets her gift for botany flourish, growing plants for pleasure and for poison (and to really annoy the head of her homeowners association). Jo Levison is first alarmed by the rage that literally sets fire flowing from her handshot flashes with a vengeancebut she learns to channel it and starts a successful fitness and self-defense business. Nessa James emerging gift is a somber one thats been handed down by the women in her family: The dead speak to her, but only the dead who need help. All three women live in the manicured little beach town of Mattauk, where bad things arent supposed to happen. But when Jo and Harriett accompany Nessa to a secluded beach, where one of those voices is calling to her, they find the body of a young woman decomposing in a garbage bag. And, Nessa says, hers is not the only ghost there. The response from local police is barely apathetic; the cops seem to be protecting someone, or all the someones who live behind gates at the high-priced end of the island. That just makes the trio push harder to find out whats going on. What they uncover echoes the Jeffrey Epstein case and too many other cases of powerful men exploiting women and getting away with itor maybe not. The novel takes on serious issues but doesnt take itself too seriously; theres plenty of mordant humor, a suspenseful plot, and mostly brisk pacing.Crime fiction, superpower fantasy, and sharp satire about sexism and ageism mesh for a satisfying read. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Menopause brings more gains than losses for three women in this entertaining thriller. When menopause arrives for the three women who are the protagonists in this book, they don’t bother with estrogen therapy or worry about chin hairs. They develop superpowers. Harriett Osborne kicks her high-powered advertising career and her dweeby husband to the curb and lets her gift for botany flourish, growing plants for pleasure and for poison (and to really annoy the head of her homeowners association). Jo Levison is first alarmed by the rage that literally sets fire flowing from her hands—hot flashes with a vengeance—but she learns to channel it and starts a successful fitness and self-defense business. Nessa James’ emerging gift is a somber one that’s been handed down by the women in her family: The dead speak to her, but only the dead who need help. All three women live in the manicured little beach town of Mattauk, where bad things aren’t supposed to happen. But when Jo and Harriett accompany Nessa to a secluded beach, where one of those voices is calling to her, they find the body of a young woman decomposing in a garbage bag. And, Nessa says, hers is not the only ghost there. The response from local police is barely apathetic; the cops seem to be protecting someone, or all the someones who live behind gates at the high-priced end of the island. That just makes the trio push harder to find out what’s going on. What they uncover echoes the Jeffrey Epstein case and too many other cases of powerful men exploiting women and getting away with it—or maybe not. The novel takes on serious issues but doesn’t take itself too seriously; there’s plenty of mordant humor, a suspenseful plot, and mostly brisk pacing. Crime fiction, superpower fantasy, and sharp satire about sexism and ageism mesh for a satisfying read. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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