Hedge Fund Wives – Tatiana Boncompagni

Title: Hedge Fund Wives
Author: Tatiana Boncompagni
ISBN: 9780061765261
Pages: 304
Release Date: May 5, 2009
Publisher: Avon A
Genre: Chick Lit
Rating: 4 out of 5

From the back cover:

In this amazingly timely story about what the wealthy do when Wall Street lays an egg, the author of Gilding Lily once again delivers a witty and insightful treatment of today’s woman, as she explores the sacrifices they make, the bargains they strike, the rules they follow, and what happens when it all starts to fall apart.

Who could have guessed that Wall Street would go south just as Marcy Emerson and her husband moved east? Down to earth Marcy relocated from Chicago to New York when her husband was offered a big time job as a hedge fund manager.

She gives up her own job—after all, hedge fund wives don’t work! And while at first it’s fun to shop all day and party all night, Marcy quickly learns that life among the rich can be anything but easy and that behind every smile can be a stab in the back.

Still, it’s not until her husband leaves her for his thinner, blonder mistress—a woman who is higher up the social ladder than the original Mrs. Emerson will ever be—that Marcy decides to stand on her own two feet once again, and fight for the things that are far more important than money.

I really enjoyed Tatiana Boncompagni’s novel Gilding Lily [review], so when she released her second novel Hedge Fund Wives, I immediately knew I wanted to read it.  I loved the dishy nature of Gilding Lily as well as the introduction to characters you love to hate.  I was looking forward to more of this in Hedge Fund Wives, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Boncompagni manages to put a sympathetic and well-drawn character in the middle of a viper’s nest of catty hedge fund wives.  Marcy is a great character who is very easy to identify with.  She is lost in this brand new world of excess wealth and gross indulgences, yet she still manages to find a few good friends who aren’t caricatures of the wealthy.  I liked how Marcy stayed true to herself even in the most desperate of situations.  Though she was shallow at times, she never allowed herself to be seduced by the world she entered into.

I appreciated that Boncompagni chose the backdrop of Hedge Fund Wives as the current economic recession.  She points out the ridiculousness of these people’s wealth and spending, and shows it can disappear overnight.  What is important is what you have left, after the money.  There is also a lot of intelligent discussion about investing and hedge funds; I don’t know much about this, and it was nice to learn something from this book.

I have mixed feelings about one of the overarching messages of Hedge Fund Wives, as presented in the novel and discussed in an interview with the author contained at the end of the book.  On one hand, I really appreciated Boncompagni’s desire to communicate with women and inspire them to have a sense of independence.  It’s important to do things for yourself, and I certainly agree with her on this point.  However, there seems to be an emphasis on material wealth and making your own money, despite the fact that the book pokes fun at the hedge fund wife culture.  I think it’s very important to have a sense of self within a marriage, but I don’t think it’s critical for a woman to make a lot of money.  If they can and want to, that’s great, but it isn’t necessary.

I enjoyed Hedge Fund Wives and am glad I got the chance to read it!  Tatiana Boncompagni is a talented author and I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next!

Thank you to TJ for sending me a copy of this book to review!

Comments

  1. Great review — sounds like a fun read.

  2. Great review — sounds like a fun read.

  3. Great point here. This sounds like a really interesting novel. I appreciate your idea that you don’t have to make a lot of money if you don’t want to. Too true. While we all seem to pursue it, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be the “be all, end all” of our lives. Thanks!

  4. Great point here. This sounds like a really interesting novel. I appreciate your idea that you don’t have to make a lot of money if you don’t want to. Too true. While we all seem to pursue it, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be the “be all, end all” of our lives. Thanks!

  5. I haven’t read this book so I’ll trust your interpretation of the aspect you felt a little differently about yet still venture a thought – I agree with you that seeking out material security may be too narrow a goal for women to focus on exclusively (forgive me if I’ve taken much liberty with your words)but there can be danger in thinking it’s not important for women to make enough money of their own if they are married – my mother did not work after marriage, meaning that when my father unexpectedly passed away at a young age, she was completely unprepared for supporting herself and her children. We had a terrifically hard time for awhile. I think it’s very important for women to have the capacity to be able to support themselves and their children, if need be. Being married is not a permanent guarantor of financial security.

  6. I haven’t read this book so I’ll trust your interpretation of the aspect you felt a little differently about yet still venture a thought – I agree with you that seeking out material security may be too narrow a goal for women to focus on exclusively (forgive me if I’ve taken much liberty with your words)but there can be danger in thinking it’s not important for women to make enough money of their own if they are married – my mother did not work after marriage, meaning that when my father unexpectedly passed away at a young age, she was completely unprepared for supporting herself and her children. We had a terrifically hard time for awhile. I think it’s very important for women to have the capacity to be able to support themselves and their children, if need be. Being married is not a permanent guarantor of financial security.

  7. This sounds like quite an interesting read. I like books where characters have to adjust to a new lifestyle, and still stay true to who they are.

  8. This sounds like quite an interesting read. I like books where characters have to adjust to a new lifestyle, and still stay true to who they are.

  9. M. – I wasn’t trying to say that women shouldn’t worry about having a career, only that they shouldn’t focus solely on making money. I don’t think women who decide to stay home with their kids are irresponsible or have made a bad choice. I think everyone should be able to make their own choice on that (although, of course you are right, it is important to be prepared for situations such as the one you mentioned). In this book, I just didn’t appreciate how much emphasis was put on making money!

  10. M. – I wasn’t trying to say that women shouldn’t worry about having a career, only that they shouldn’t focus solely on making money. I don’t think women who decide to stay home with their kids are irresponsible or have made a bad choice. I think everyone should be able to make their own choice on that (although, of course you are right, it is important to be prepared for situations such as the one you mentioned). In this book, I just didn’t appreciate how much emphasis was put on making money!

  11. This is such an interesting discussion you have going and exactly what I hoped this book would inspire. I really do believe that in many marriages the person who makes money is in control and the only way for women to be truly secure is if they are making their own. Not an ideal situation, but it is what it is and women in these kinds of marriages (which may be otherwise healthy unions) don’t do themselves any favors by not facing the truth. Perhaps this is a controversial stance to take, but I stand by it and, moreover, if it is making people talk and think about the role of money in marriage then I am quite pleased.
    Thanks for the post!
    And the comments.
    All valid!

  12. This is such an interesting discussion you have going and exactly what I hoped this book would inspire. I really do believe that in many marriages the person who makes money is in control and the only way for women to be truly secure is if they are making their own. Not an ideal situation, but it is what it is and women in these kinds of marriages (which may be otherwise healthy unions) don’t do themselves any favors by not facing the truth. Perhaps this is a controversial stance to take, but I stand by it and, moreover, if it is making people talk and think about the role of money in marriage then I am quite pleased.
    Thanks for the post!
    And the comments.
    All valid!

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