Thursday, December 22, 2016

Quick Pick book review: The Widow of Wall Street, by Randy Susan Meyers

Book Review: The Widow of Wall Street, by Randy Susan Meyers
  • Opening lines: Phoebe never hated her husband more than when she visited him in prison. The preceding nightmare of ordealseleven hours hauling a suitcase by bus, train, and cab, her muscles screaming from the weightwere the coming attractions of the misery she faced the next day.
  • Reason I picked up the book: I've read both Accidents of Marriage and The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers, and they were great.
  • And what's this book about?
  • A provocative new novel by bestselling author Randy Susan Meyers about the seemingly blind love of a wife for her husband as he conquers Wall Street, and her extraordinary, perhaps foolish, loyalty during his precipitous fall.

    Phoebe sees the fire in Jake Pierce’s belly from the moment they meet as teenagers. As he creates a financial dynasty, she trusts him without hesitation—unaware his hunger for success hides a dark talent for deception.

    When Phoebe learns—along with the rest of the world—that her husband’s triumphs are the result of an elaborate Ponzi scheme her world unravels. Lies underpin her life and marriage. As Jake’s crime is uncovered, the world obsesses about Phoebe. Did she know her gilded life was fabricated by fraud? Did she partner with her husband in hustling billions from pensioners, charities, and CEOs? Was she his accomplice in stealing from their friends and neighbors?

    Debate rages as to whether love and loyalty blinded her to his crimes or if she chose to live in denial. While Jake is trapped in the web of his own deceit, Phoebe is faced with unbearable choice. Her children refuse to see her if she remains at their father’s side, but abandoning Jake, a man she’s known and loved since childhood, feels cruel and impossible.

    From penthouse to prison, with tragic consequences rippling well beyond Wall Street, Randy Susan Meyers’s latest novel exposes a woman struggling to redefine her life and marriage as everything she thought she knew crumbles around her. “Meyers is quickly taking her place among the ranks of women’s fiction authors who write big-issue novels that explore the inner lives of women in crisis without descending into melodrama or cliché. Readers who enjoy Jodi Picoult will want to add Meyers to their to-read list” (Booklist Review).
  • Favorite paragraph: The cab driver didn't acknowledge Phoebe, except for nodding when she asked for Ray Brook Federal Correctional. Maybe he was being polite, accustomed to allowing psychic space to sad women visiting locked up men, but more likely, she disgusted him. She recognized the expression: the shock of detection and the scowl. 

    You.
    Her.

    The face of Jake's crime. Wife of the demon. Even if she dyed her hair, wore sunglasses, dressed plainer than an Amish woman, someone shook his or her head as she passed.

    The prison loomed. The cab stopped.
  • Recommended for: Anyone who likes stories about families or the rise and fall of empires. 
  • Something to know: The book starts at the beginning (Nov. 2009) after Jake, Phoebe's husband, is already in jail, and ends around 2011. I went back and read the beginning chapter after I had finished the book, and it made more sense contextually then.
  • What I would have changed: Nothing. 
  • Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
  • Where can I find this book? Click here to pre-order - this book will be out on April 11, 2017.

    *Disclosure: I received a galley of this book from NetGalley. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

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