There is a stack of books that I consider my favorites of all time. Some of them are are massive books, like The Stand, that consumed me for weeks; others are books of the fantastic, like Anansi Boys that catch my fancy and take me off this realm; still others like Lamb, tickle my funny bone in just the right way.
However there are a few that I will always remember due not to the story, nor the setting, but the writing itself. The first book like that I can remember reading was Shipping News. You can describe the story and have no idea of the power of the language of Ms. Proulx. Spare Change falls into this category.
Ms. Crosby has written a story that from the outside appears to be a simple story of redemption -- however, as you turn the pages and consume the sentences, you fall into the spell of the words. This is writing that is to be enjoyed for the sake of the writing. That fact that the story of Olivia is warm, and funny, and redemptive is almost secondary.
Here is a passage from early in the novel "...it was possible that a passerby at the far edge of the field might have heard the boy's heart crack open." And perhaps my favorite quote from the book "Making people think that they can't scrape up enough to buy a dime's worth of happiness, is the Devil's doing; that's his way of handing out heartaches. The God Lord don't do things that way -- when he sees a person's flat out of hope and feeling dead broke, He slips a bit of spare change into the bottom of their pocket..."
When you have your fix of vampires, and hues of gray, and bow-carrying heroines, and want to settle back with something that is worth savoring, I recommend you try this book.