Author: Randy Susan Meyers
Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Date: April 11, 2017 (Today!)
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Phoebe sees the fire in Jake Pierce’s belly from the moment they meet as teenagers in Brooklyn. Eventually he creates a financial dynasty and 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 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 family 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 an unbearable choice. Her children refuse to see her if she remains at their father’s side, but abandoning Jake, a man she’s known since childhood, feels cruel and impossible."
My Two Cents:
"The Widow of Wall Street" is the story of Phoebe, a woman married to one of the major players on Wall Street. She and Jake grew up together and she knew him well before the trappings of wealth surrounded them. Now Jake is in jail for defrauding many of his and Phoebe's friends, family, and others that they do not know of their savings in a Ponzi scheme that will shake their whole world down. Their marriage starts with a lie but eventually they carve out a fairly happy existence, at least one that feels fairly happy to Phoebe. She never questions the wealth and reaps the benefits of it. This book explores if she was really complicit, ignorant, or truly unknowing.
In this ripped-from-the-headlines story, we really get to know Phoebe. She was such a well-written character. She is very three dimensional character. She definitely isn't perfect. Although she came from humble beginnings, she shows us how easy it is to get used to luxury and to think nothing of dropping a few grand on a pair of shoes. She doesn't even realize that she's doing it and while it rubbed me the wrong way, you can easily see how that could happen.
Watching the news in the past couple years, I know that I have wondered a lot about the people who commit these grave financial crimes and their family. Specifically with regard to the family: could they really not see what their family member was doing. How did they feel about the crime? Would they stand by their family member? This book explores all of these topics and more. The author does a good job of making all of the complicated thoughts and feelings that someone in that situation would go through. This book really allows you to step into the shoes of someone whose life you could only ponder about.
This is a good book and made me feel ways that I did not think this subject matter would make me feel. I love when authors are able to take things that you wonder about and turn in on its head. This book does that and it does it well!