Title: Hedge Fund Wives
Author: Tatiana Boncompagni
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!