By Mary M. Clare
Loud Mouth Press, 224 pages, $19.95

How Loud is Your Voice?

In the days surrounding President Obama’s campaign, election and inauguration, change was a topic of much discussion. This got Lewis & Clark College professor Mary M. Clare attention. What would normal people from various American regions say about change? Clare brainstormed questions and committed herself to listening to and recording one hundred answers in one hundred days. The resulting conversations can be found in 100 Voices: Americans Talk About Change. Clare begins in her hometown of Portland, travels through California, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, New York, Washington and ends up back in Oregon. She talks to people regardless of ethnicity, gender, age, political beliefs and income level. Her interviews take place in restaurants, schools, coffee shops, homes, town squares and hotel lobbies. Frustration and disappointment are common themes, but so are hope and excitement. Readers are sure to enjoy the unique interviews with preschoolers and older kids. Although they are young, they are very insightful. Clare does an excellent job of capturing a slice of America and human nature. The spirits of the owners of the 100 voices really shine. This is an inspirational book and a great read.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin