Hedge Fund Wives by Tatiana Boncompagni
|Hedge Fund Wives by Tatiana Boncompagni|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Trish Simpson-Davis|
|Summary: A cautionary tale, debunking the diamond-dripping dream-world of traders' wives. Boncampagni has cleverly patched into the current financial crisis to make the moral point about obscene wealth. Not mindless, but as always in chick lit, it's padded in pink cotton wool.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 360||Date: August 2009|
Chick lit is about finding a man in order to live happily ever after: not just any man, of course, but Mr Right himself. Hedge Fund Wives is as pink cotton-wooly as any self-respecting chick lit novel in search of a hero. But … it also flies in the face of this convention. In the story, marrying money does not secure the fairy tale ending. It's really amazing that Tatiana Boncompagni has managed to deliver a rags-to-riches happy ending for her heroine while roundly denouncing the riches along the way.
Money is like a drug. The more you have the more you want, Marcy, the thirty-five year old heroine, tells her sister. So you can see why the super rich aren't happy in a credit crunch. The predators in the story are always looking to advantage themselves, principally by strategic affairs and remarrying, but also with the odd spot of blackmail where necessary. The (male) traders think: a woman's value depreciates as she ages, while a man's increases … a marriage makes sense when a woman's beauty is equal to man's wealth, but if either slips, new calculations must be made. Whereas all Marcy thinks she wants is a baby. That's probably all you need to know about the plot. The story is very cannily set in the current economic gloom, which means that half the characters are terrified they will lose their multi-million incomes and the other half already have. Indeed, my favourite phrase from the book: bank account dysmorphia, describes the feeling of pennilessness when the obscenely rich halve their millions.
Having enjoyed The Devil wears Prada, Sex and the City and The Ivy Chronicles, all cited on the cover, I was definitely up for this book. I did chortle for a while at the antics of the stellar-affluent. I liked the tongue-in-cheek humour as New York newcomer Marcy lurches from gaffes to rampant consumerism, her scathing commentaries on NY de rigeur life (duly reminiscent of Carrie) and the ironic inventories of stuff in every scene, which underline the envy and vapid materialism of the wives. How true to life it is, I can't say, though Ms Boncompagni professes to move in Hedge Fund society and has witnessed the fallout over the past year.
The problem with humour is what to do with it later on in the story. There comes a point in chick lit when the need of the characters to get on with the plot overwhelms the comedy. For me, the book deteriorates into a humourless gallop for the finishing line with some annoying ends not tied in properly. I don't know how I can otherwise politely describe the perfunctoriness of … He'd proposed a year after we bumped into each other at GHBC… as the climax of the story for a dedicated chick lit reader.
On the other hand this is an honestly marketed book, by which I mean that one look at the title and bling-encrusted cover will tell you instantly if you want to read it or not. I expect it to make Tesco's shelves quite soon.
The Bookbag would like to thank the publishers for sending this book.
If you are like New York stories, you might like to check out Jay McInerney's The Last Bachelor. Also try Bookbag's Chick Lit Picks for the best of British: Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella, Tilly Bagshawe, Katie Fforde, Fiona Neill …
You can read more book reviews or buy Hedge Fund Wives by Tatiana Boncompagni at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Hedge Fund Wives by Tatiana Boncompagni at Amazon.com.
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