Small Change: The Secret Life of Penny Burford

Front Cover
Turner Publishing Company, 2004 - Fiction - 150 pages
283 Reviews
As a young girl, while helping her minister father distribute Christmas baskets and toys to underpriveleged families, Penny Burford's life was touched and changed. As a result, in 1965 adult Penny takes a single nickel from her husband, Roy's, overflowing mound of change on the bedroom dresser. With that single act, she changes the course of her life--and the lives of untold others. Penny has never kept a secret from her husband, but as her hoard of castaway change grows, she discovers that having her own money gives her the power to make her own decisions. And she finds that small change can eventually lead to big changes. Thirty-four years later, Roy finds a large check drawn on an account bearing only Penny's name. He is bewildered, wondering how his wife, who has never worked outside their home, managed to come by so much money. His quest to unravel this mystery leads him to other discoveries about the woman he thought he knew so well. Roy learns just how many lives Penny has touched and just how well his wife has known his own secrets all those years--and her example shows him how to begin life anew. Small Change is a deceptively simple story that explores the human condition in a rich emotional portrait. A remarkable tale of an ordinary housewife who leaves an extraordinary legacy, it reminds us of the true spirit of charity, the lasting effects of dysfunctional childhood, and the tragic self-silencing that limits the richness of far too many lives.

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Review: Small Change: The Secret Life of Penny Burford

User Review  - Goodreads

I really liked this book - the story of a somewhat ignored housewife who finds a way to make a difference in her life and in the lives of others. It is short and quick and worth the read. Read full review

Review: Small Change: The Secret Life of Penny Burford

User Review  - Annette - Goodreads

Poignant, well-written short story - worthwhile read. I am glad that I read it. "It's what you do with it that counts." Some mild profanity. Read full review

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About the author (2004)

J. Belinda Yandell is a writer, artist and graphic designer who lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is the author of "Small Change: the Secret Life of Penny Burford," and a fantasy series called The Cadian Chronicles, which so far includes five volumes: "Misery's Child," "Misery's Flight," "Misery's Curse," "Misery's Disguise," and "Misery's Tribe." Yandell grew up in Savannah, Georgia, where her family still resides. She is a graduate of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. Currently, she is collaborating on a new book with her cat, Doolittle. The project is taking longer than expected due to Doolittle's frequent napping and demands for more catnip. For more information on her writing and art, please visit You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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