The Widow of Wall Street

Randy Susan Meyers
The Widow of Wall Street
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Atria Books
Release Date
April 2017
Chick-lit, Mainstream fiction

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).

Book Review by BJ (reviewer)
Jul 17, 2017   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
44 people found the following review helpful
4.5 "Hate the Sin but Love the Sinner?" Stars.

With Wall Street headlines of Ponzi schemes constantly making the news over the last few decades, my curiosity of getting an inside view at the humanity shrouding the inconceivable greed and lack of moral compass that could fuel such a disaster compelled me to read THE WIDOW OF WALL STREET. And what a ride it was! I particularly enjoyed the roller coaster of emotions that fueled such disparate feelings of the heroine in this book (the wife of a former Wall Street god turned monster thief). Lovers of complex women's fiction titles will not want to miss this tale that focuses on the lengths that someone will go to reap success, with the sobering morale being in the end that family and true love reign supreme even when competing with all the comforts that unparalleled wealth can buy.

Please note that this book is not a romance. This is a general fiction or non-romance women's fiction title as the primary subject relates to family, including motherhood, and friendship. As most of the titles I read are romance, I felt compelled to add this warning before describing the book below.

THE WIDOW OF WALL STREET is a story told over numerous decades that span the heroine's life. Starting in the 1960s when the heroine (Phoebe) is a teenager and concluding close to the present day. The story is also told from alternating chapters told both from Phoebe's perspective and the perspective of her high school boyfriend-turned-husband (Jake).

Growing up in the 1960s in Brooklyn, Phoebe was born into a middle class family of Jewish descent. Jake, who lived in the neighborhood, had a similar upbringing, though it was tainted with his father's past bad business dealings. Jake always knew he would do whatever it took to overcome this taint and become truly rich and acceptable in New York's highest social circles. His obsession with appearances and need for material trophies of success fuel nearly all of his life goals and actions.

While Phoebe attended college herself and toyed with thoughts of her own career, a decision she makes that includes her own sin paves the way for her and Jake's eventual union in marriage. Once married, Phoebe's role in life completely changes and her sole objective becomes serving as Jake's perfect hostess wife and the mother of her children. So ensues two intertwined fates as Jake climbs to impossible investment successes and Phoebe raises their two children and eventually devotes herself to charitable endeavors.

When Jake's "miracle" investments, which seem to avoid even the most drastic of Wall Street's downturns, begin to unravel, and the world realizes his Ponzi scheme, the search for the truth, true motivations, and friendships and people you can truly count on begins. Will Phoebe stick by Jake? And at what cost? Do you ever get a second chance at new beginnings in family, love, and careers?

All in all, this book had me mesmerized. It caused me to question just how far one will go for family, success, and self-validation. And whether a sinner's redemption is ever truly possible. Moreover, a mother's plight in the battle between her husband's needs and her children's is heartbreaking in this story. If you love books that cause you to question how you would handle the circumstances that the characters of the book are mired in, as well as the limits of your own moral compass, then I recommend that you give THE WIDOW OF WALL STREET a read!
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January 18, 2018 10:28 PM ( EST )