Thursday, July 6, 2017

Our Little Racket by Angelica Baker

I didn't love this book at first, but by the end I really wanted to find out what happened.  Bob D'Amico was a self made man, the CEO of an investment bank, living in luxury with his wife, daughter and twin sons in Greenwich, Connecticut.  Bob's life begins to unravel when his bank is forced into bankruptcy and he is accused of illegal acts which contributed to the company's downfall.

The interesting twist in this book is that the story is told entirely from the perspective of five women who were impacted by Bob's behaviour:  his wife, Isabel; his daughter, Madison; Isabel's friend Mina; Madison's friend, Amanda and the family nanny, Lily.

Isabel came from an established, moneyed WASP family.  Her parents, now dead, never really approved of her marriage or her husband's showy life.  Isabel vacillates between support for Bob and disgust at his behaviour.  She is shunned by her former "friends" and spends countless hours with her father's advisors trying to figure out how he'd have extricated himself from a similar mess.

Madison spends the most time with Bob following his downfall as she tries hard to understand his job so she can defend him.  She is also shunned by some former friends and adopted by new ones who seem to want to use her to obtain information about her father.  Her relationship with Amanda is particularly strained as Amanda's father is a financial columnist who has never liked Bob and now spends his time writing scathing articles about him.  Madison's life is further complicated by the demands of being a typical teenager, albeit in atypical circumstances, and having her first boyfriend.

Lily has been with the family for years in a job which was supposed to be just a stepping stone to something better.  She feels fiercely loyal to the children and is highly critical of how both parents are taking care of their needs in a time of crisis.  She is also under pressure from her boyfriend, who is an aspiring journalist, to use her inside position to tell "the story".

The action all comes to head at a fundraiser about a year after the bank's initial downfall when the family makes its first foray back into Greenwich society.  It is an interesting, though not entirely unpredictable, result when all of the parties come together in one place and Bob is confronted by former employees and friends.

The very last chapter was an epilogue that jumped ahead several years.  It was an interesting synopsis of where everyone ended up and I would have liked a little more detail.

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