Big Little Lies meets The Witches of Eastwick—a gloriously entertaining and knife-sharp feminist revenge fantasy about three women whose midlife crisis brings unexpected new powers—putting them on a collision course with the evil that lurks in their wealthy beach town.
In the Long Island oceanfront community of Mattauk, three different women discover that midlife changes bring a whole new type of empowerment…
After Nessa James’s husband dies and her twin daughters leave for college, she’s left all alone in a trim white house not far from the ocean. In the quiet of her late forties, the former nurse begins to hear voices. It doesn’t take long for Nessa to realize that the voices calling out to her belong to the dead—a gift she’s inherited from her grandmother, which comes with special responsibilities.
On the cusp of 50, suave advertising director Harriett Osborne has just witnessed the implosion of her lucrative career and her marriage. She hasn’t left her house in months, and from the outside, it appears as if she and her garden have both gone to seed. But Harriet’s life is far from over—in fact, she’s undergone a stunning and very welcome metamorphosis.
Ambitious former executive Jo Levison has spent thirty long years at war with her body. The free-floating rage and hot flashes that arrive with the beginning of menopause feel like the very last straw—until she realizes she has the ability to channel them, and finally comes into her power.
Guided by voices only Nessa can hear, the trio of women discover a teenage girl whose body was abandoned beside a remote beach. The police have written the victim off as a drug-addicted sex worker, but the women refuse to buy into the official narrative. Their investigation into the girl’s murder leads to more bodies, and to the town’s most exclusive and isolated enclave, a world of stupendous wealth where the rules don’t apply. With their newfound powers, Jo, Nessa, and Harriet will take matters into their own hands…
The Change is a feminist revenge story filled with mystery and suspense. Three women come into supernatural powers mid-life, and after discovering the murders of several young women, vow to punish the toxic men responsible.
If a book is sold as a feminist revenge story, I will read it. I need no other information. I am in. Few things make me more happy.
The Change is both a mystery and a story about women finding their power in a patriarchal world. There is discussion of important, and often overlooked, issues that affect people today – from workplace discrimination and power dynamics to the differential treatment of the wealthy to violence against women. Do not let that deter you from reading this book if that is not your thing. These topics are expertly woven into the plot in a way that highlights them as problematic without distracting from the story.
In The Change, Kirsten Miller does a fantastic job balancing tone and subject. While books of this nature can veer into campy or ridiculous, Miller managed to maintain the serious tone the subject matter required while still making the book a fun read that I did not want to put down. I also loved the writing in The Change. I cannot quite pinpoint what it was, but it was refreshing after other books I have recently read.
I loved the three main characters. They were women not defined by motherhood, their jobs, or marriage. Instead, Jo, Nessa, and Harriet were fully developed as their own people. Saying that may sound strange, but so often, women are not written as complex beings with motivations, desires, etc. outside of what the world sees as gender norms. Miller kills it and adds in some magic.
Overall, I loved The Change and will be recommending it to any who asks for a rec. My only wish is that peri-menopause actually gave all women magical powers.
Mystery & Thriller;
May 3, 2022
Note: I received an e-galley of this book from the publisher, William Morrow. Regardless, I always provide a fair and honest review.