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change of life arnold

Category Romance Review: Change of Life by Judith Arnold

judith arnold category romance

Change of Life by Judith Arnold
Rating: two-half-stars
Published: 1990
Illustrator: Unknown
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 252
Format: eBook, Paperback
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader

Category Romance Review: Change of Life by Judith Arnold


The Book

Change of Life, a Harlequin American Romance by Judith Arnold, seems less a romance and more a story of a woman’s mid-life crisis and journey to self-discovery.

The Plot

Lila, The Harried Housewife

Lila Chapin is a long-time married woman with several rambunctious young boys. While Daddy is the fun parent, she’s a stay-at-home mom who cooks, cleans, disciplines, and is attentive to everyone’s wants and needs.

On her 40th birthday, when her husband, Ken, and their kids forget all about it, she decides it’s time for a change in her life. She packs up her things, takes her keys, withdraws some money from their bank account, and leaves.

Lila settles into a hotel and figures it’s time to take care of her wants and needs. She informs her bewildered husband that she’s taking one month off from being a wife and mother. Lila feels she’s been taken for granted, and without her around, her family will realize how much they rely on her for everything.

Ken, of course, isn’t amused. He insists Lila come home, but she’s not budging.

A night or two of relaxation at a hotel is fun. However, Lila wants more than just to lay around and be pampered. She’s not fulfilled.

Lila volunteers at a homeless shelter, feeding the poor. She gets to know them on a more individual level and wants to help out as much as she can. Then she starts classes for the indigent to try to enhance their educational skills to gain greater opportunities.

Ken, The Well-Meaning Dad

In the meantime, Ken is doing his best to convince her to come home. Husband and wife meet up for conversations which form into dates.

However, that’s not the only guy Lila is dating! Lila meets a younger man whom she flirts with. She even goes out with him once on a late-night date.

It doesn’t lead to adultery. I wouldn’t like it if a married hero did this to his wife, so it’s not right for Lila to do this to Ken.

Ken’s not a bad guy. He loves his wife, works hard to provide for his family financially, and is a loving father.

That’s not enough for Lila, who wants a man who will support her hopes and dreams. A man who will not be so forgetful about special events like a 40th birthday party. That was rather thoughtless on Ken’s part, though, so he’s definitely not without flaws.

In the end, Lila and Ken come to a compromise, where he will spend time doing more housework and appreciate her. Meanwhile, Lila gets some “me time” working to help the poor.

Final Analysis of Change of Life

Change of Life by Judith Duncan proves one thing: women, as well as men, can be self-centered when they experience mid-life crises.

Being a full-time mother is a meaningful existence; I certainly felt that way when I was doing it. Although I can understand that not all women share the same opinion and need “more.”

It’s wonderful Lila is being fulfilled, but couldn’t she have just talked with Ken?

I’m a woman, and sometimes we feel that it takes a big dramatic show to make us heard.

Leaving your kids with your husband for a weekend to relax is one thing, even a week’s vacation. Abandoning them with no word is just as thoughtless as forgetting a birthday. And going on a date with another man while married? Bad form.

It’s always a good thing to reevaluate your beliefs and situation in life, but it’s important to communicate with your life partner if you’re unsatisfied with how things are. In real life, walking out on your family could lead to divorce.

Lila was lucky that her plan worked. As Change of Life is a romance, it couldn’t have ended any other way.

2.5 Stars

Rating Report Card
Fun Factor
Overall: 2.5


On Lila Chapin’s birthday, something snapped. She packed her bags, wrote a note and left-just like that.

Unbeknownst to her family, Lila was giving herself the present she wanted most: a month’s vacation. She was going to pamper her body, feast her eyes and soothe her soul while Ken and the boys realized just how much they took her for granted.

But Lila hadn’t bargained on Ken’s reaction to her domestic rebellion—and on a side of him that she hadn’t known existed.

Nor had she bargained on the sweetness and wonder of a post-summer romance.

Change of Life by Judith Arnold