Small Changes
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Small Changes

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  599 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Small Changes is the explosive novel of women struggling to make their places in a man's world. Set against the early days of the feminist movement, it tells of two women and the choices they must make.

Intelligent, sensual Miriam Berg trades her doctorate for marriage and security, only to find herself hungry for a life of her own but terrified of losing her husband Shy,...more
Paperback, 562 pages
Published 1997 by Fawcett Columbine (first published 1973)
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Best Feminist Fiction
368th out of 741 books — 1,630 voters
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Cyndy Aleo
Almost ten years ago I discovered the author Marge Piercy when I read her novel He, She, and It. As I do with any author whose book I really, really love, I ran right out and bought every other book of hers I could get my hands on, including Small Changes, which the cover blurb promised showcased two women and the changes they make in their lives.

::: First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage :::

The first character we meet is Beth, a recent high school student who is apparently getting married to her...more
Alexis Leon
An epic 542 page tome that tells the respective stories of two women coming of age and finding themselves in the beginning and middle of the feminist movement Ugly duckling turned Jewish seductress Miriam torn between two men she loves equally, passionately, and differently. Timid Beth who marries the man she believes she loves and decides to escape the lie she's folded into. And happily the twain shall meet, and have adventures and friendship in Boston, discovering and re-discovering their selv...more
This was a somewhat predictable yet somewhat unpredictable book because none of the women ended up precisely where I thought they would at the end of the story. A tale of the poor options offered to women sometimes and the poor choices they sometimes make but with the end result being that given the choices they haveto change things, they sometimes choose well and sometimes not. What I liked was that this really reflected the unpredicatability of it all very well.
Meh. I got to know the characters--it was a long book--and felt at loose ends when it ended, but not for long. I'm not sure if this just wasn't one of Marge Piercy's more stellar books or if Marge Piercy is just not that stellar to me. To this end, I'll choose another one to read--some of her sentences were amazing and kept me coming back for more. Unfortunately, they were few and far between. Glad I checked this one out from the library.
I kept reading this book because the quality of the writing was good but the characters' constant nattering about relationships drove me crazy. It was interesting to see how their interactions changed over time, but I wasn't that engaged with most of the people to begin with. The novel felt like a giant math problem without resolution. Disappointing as I had heard good things about this book.
I felt like I was sludging through this book the whole time. A lot of the dialogue seemed like words that didn't mean anything. Pretty much all the male characters are dicks. There were a lot of things that seemed outrageous to me, which made me realize how much I take for granted that feminism has done. I really wanted to like it more than I did.
I actually returned this book to the library without finishing it. I got about halfway through. I had really liked Woman on the Edge of Time by the same author, but found this dragged. Lots of details about Beth and Miriam's love lives and yes, they are not accepting the traditional roles. But I really don't care about the details. Maybe it's me.
This was the first Marge Piercy I read some 30 years ago and I was hooked. When I get excited by an author, I tend to read everything I can find by her until I'm sated and that's what I did with Piercy. I do have a couple of her books on my shelf that I haven't read, Vida being one of them. Her poetry rocks too.
I like Marge Piercy's poetry, so when I learned that in the 1970's she wrote fiction with lesbian characters in it in the I was like, "Huh?" So I read one. The takeaway from this book is that men were total dicks in the 70's and that women were better off with women. Marriage is a trap, run for your lives. The end.
I must have read this book when I was in college or not long after I graduated. Honestly, I remember just enough about it (after reading other reviews)to know that I read it, but not enough to remember how much I did or did not like it. I'm going to give it three stars and leave it at that.
powerful stuff...I read it about the same time as I read
John Sayles' 'Union Dues.' I thought the characters in this
novel maybe knew the characters in the other novel...
When I read this in the early 70s, I thought it was one of the best depictions of 60s alternative life I'd read. I read the whole thing in a couple of days.
Wow- what a timeless novel about the challenges of being a woman. I felt as if I identified with each female character! Beautifully written!
My first Marge Piercy. Loved it, and loved that one of the women was a mathematician.
So horrifyingly bad, it almost made me want to renounce feminism--just awful!
Oct 05, 2009 Lauren added it
I read this so long ago I can barely rmember it. Should I reread?
A good read for International Women's Day
Linda Kennedy
My second favorite.
Deb added it
Jul 16, 2014
Maia Mccormick
Maia Mccormick marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2014
Leni Rayburn
Leni Rayburn marked it as to-read
Jun 19, 2014
Lindenizen marked it as to-read
Jun 18, 2014
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Marge Piercy (born March 31, 1936) is an American poet, novelist, and social activist. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Gone to Soldiers, a sweeping historical novel set during World War II.

Piercy was born in Detroit, Michigan, to a family deeply affected by the Great Depression. She was the first in her family to attend college, studying at the University of Michigan. Winning a...more
More about Marge Piercy...
Woman on the Edge of Time He, She and It Gone to Soldiers The Moon Is Always Female: Poems Sex Wars: A Novel of Gilded Age New York

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