Friday, October 2, 2009

Book Review: "Hedge Fund Wives" by Tatiana Boncompagni

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.

My Review:

Wow! What an amazing story! I just loved this book and could not stop reading it. Marcy Emerson is an uncomplicated woman who leads a very simple lifestyle. She is freshly married to the man of her dreams, John. They have just relocated from Chicago to New York. John was given the opportunity to begin a new phase in his career, with an amazing job opportunity as a hedge fund manager. As they embark on their journey as husband and wife, in a new city with new friends, Marcy is encountering some adjustments. John is a financially driven social climber who is determined to far exceed in his new position. He is the new kid in town striving to arouse his colleagues.

John revamps his wardrobe, spending an obscene amount of money, and Marcy is astonished! They have never had the monetary freedom before, and it is quite an adjustment for her. In addition, John asks Marcy to not work, hedge fund wives don't need to, and it would not be acceptable for his image. Marcy has to dress and look her best now. Appearance is everything in NYC. Therefore, Marcy is forced to socialize with the other gossiping, snobby, glitzy, materialistic, and privileged hedge fund wives. These women are the socialites of New York. Needless to say, this is not easy for her at all.

But then she meets Gigi Ambrose. Gigi doesn't fit the stereotypical hedge fund wife. She has her own gourmet catering company, and is very relatable to Marcy. Honest and sincere, she takes her under her wing. They develop a bond and friendship full of trust. Gigi educates Marcy on what to expect now that her husband is in the business. One day, Gigi encounters an issue, and needs Marcy's help with catering a dinner party for one of the other wives. She happily commits, after all she enjoys working, and has experience in the food service industry. When John shows up, he is furious. This is not good for their image, after all what would the guys in his firm think?
The other issue is Marcy's desire to have a baby. They were both on board before they moved to New York, and now John isn't so supportive. This makes Marcy feel so alone and confused. The more John succeeds, the more his priorities and values change. Then all of the sudden her biggest fears come to a reality! Does Marcy decide to stay in New York? Does she become an independent woman, and far exceed any one's expectation of her? What about her desire to become a mother?What will happen to John, his dream job, and new found lavish lifestyle?

I enjoyed how Marcy's character stayed true to herself, even in the most desperate situations. You feel a connection to Marcy the more you read, and you even become emotionally involved as the story progresses. I felt so heartbroken for her when situations weren't as calm and carefree. This book was well written, I consider it to be an easy read and entertaining. I could not put it down (shocker) and finished it in less than two days! I can't wait for more books to be published. Tatiana Boncompagni has written one other book, Gilding Lily, which I read first and also recommend.

Thanks for reading!



  1. This sounds like I may need a box of tissues to make it to the end, maybe a stress ball too to deal with the the themes of womens independance and freedoms. Great review Mara.

  2. I hadn't read a blogger review on this one yet. Thanks! It sounds good.

  3. I've been meaning to pick this up. Can't wait! xoxo

  4. Sounds like agreat read! I prefer lighter subjects though =)

  5. U know what's funny? this is the first time a review has actually chnged my mind. Seriously.
    I looked at the cover and thought, "oooh pretty, what's that about?" Then I saw the initial summary and was thinking, "yeah, no...this sounds boring; I hate thnking about wall street and all that mess."
    But when I read your review and how u explained an important part:
    "John asks Marcy to not work, hedge fund wives don't need to, .....These women are the socialites of New York. Needless to say, this is not easy for her at all."
    I changed my mind. This is going on my TBR list b/c of that, since I find the dynamics of gender and money, and all the social stuff that accompanies it very interesting. It seems to be not what I was thinking it was after all.

  6. Sold! I am going to get this book asap. Loved your review.

  7. This good seems really good! But there are just so many other books to read. I'm going to add it to the pile :D