Empowered Women Dominate in The Change, a new novel by Kirsten Miller
The Change by Kirsten Miller
Genre: General Fiction (Fantasy?)
Published May 2022, 480 pages
This book is billed as a "feminist revenge fantasy", and for a change, I actually agree with the blurb. Three women in their late 40s find themselves developing unexpected, unexplained powers (a little magical realism here). The women, in the prime of their midlife, gradually discover that they matter and what they can do matters, so they proceed to use that knowledge, that power, to make a difference.
It all starts with Nessa who discovers she can hear voices of the murdered asking for help. When she can't ignore the voices any longer she finds that her friends are willing to help her solve the murders
so that the girls' spirits can rest. Harriet, a former powerhouse of a marketing maven, has embraced her power to make things grow and her garden is a mix of beauty and deadly. Then, there's Jo - a woman who finds her power through the hot flashes of menopause and channels all that heat and energy into physical action. Together, the three women work to figure out what happened to the several young murdered women. The murders aren't graphic or the main point of the story - just the vehicle to get these women to recognize and develop their "powers".
A story with a touch of magical realism is something I generally enjoy and this one is very light on the magical, so even if you're someone who likes stories completely grounded in reality, you might like this one. That is, if you also like reading about women taking/owning their power, their own voices.
"Anger's like rocket fuel. Either it pushes you forward or it burns you alive."
There is a LOT of pent up female anger throughout the book. Almost too much. And most of it revolved around men - I don't think there was a "good" man in the book anywhere.
I didn't hate the book, but didn't love it either. If you enjoy reading about strong women being empowered and putting men in their place, this is for you. For me, it was a little over the top, and a little too one-note ...... all the men were bad, all the women were invincible. But, the story does move along at a steady pace, and the dialog is good.
Thanks to #Netgalley for the ARC of #TheChange - the opinions (muddy though they might be) are my own.