Thursday, January 20, 2005

Change Baby

'Kay, I dunno what it is about me and books with the word "baby" in the titles (see this entry), but the novel CHANGE BABY by June Spence is a real treat. (Cover image hotlinks to Powells. I mean, y'all can buy it at Amazon or BN if you REALLY WANT TO, but I personally am very fond of Powells.)

June was an MFA student at Bowling Green State University when I was taking my BFA. When I was just a wee young thing, I got to read an early draft of one of the stories that made it into MISSING WOMEN AND OTHERS, June's first book, published to much acclaim. CHANGE BABY is the story of Avie Gross, a young woman born late in life to a now-ailing mother. After a devastating house fire in which her mother is injured, Avie must return home to care for the woman, uncovering secrets along the way. It's nice and compact (240 pages), the writing is just beautiful, and the South June portrays is so genuine. You get the sense that this was the story she was born to write.

My only beef is with the cover. I'm not sure I would have picked up the book if it hadn't been June's, because pears in my experience don't have very exciting lives. But it could certainly be argued that I'm a bit too literal; I know these types of covers are at the very height of fashion. And hey, it's not the cover. It's the words inside.

Again, CHANGE BABY by June Spence. Check it out.