Hedge Fund Wives by Tatiana Boncompagni
Hedge Fund Wives, Tatiana Boncompagni’s second novel, tells the story of Marcy Emerson, a midwestern girl who moves to New York City with her husband as he begins his career in hedge funds. Although Chicago is anything but a small town, but she is not prepared for the cut throat world of NYC hedge fund wives. Marcy gave up much of herself when she left the only world she ever knew to follow John’s dreams. One thing she brought with her were her insecurities. To the sharks who ruled the world she was entering, insecurity was as good as flowing blood in the water. Marcy has to learn to trust in herself and her own abilities. She had no choice. As with the current shaky financial climate, she was the only safety net she had.
Marcy quickly learns that she doesn’t have it so easy. Any one of the local hedge fund wives could be out to make her life hell – or use John as a step up the social ladder. Luckily for Marcy, she is able to make friends like Gigi and Jill. Jill works for a home interior magazine in addition to being married to a successful hedge funder. Her life, much like her home, seem perfect on the outside. Gigi is a chef who runs a prestigeous catering company. She was a famous author and TV personality prior to marrying her hedge funder. Together, they make an unusual trio, but they give Marcy the foundation she needs to make NYC her home and begin to take steps to make her life rewarding. Her decisions with work don’t John happy, but with him spending more and more hours working, she is responsible for her own happiness. She becomes stronger in the face of uncertainty.
With news of hedge funds going belly up and the nearly endless news about how some of those funds were involved with Bernard Madoff’s ponzi scheme, this novel had an interesting subtext. The people that Marcy meets, both the husbands and the wives, are living in a bubble that’s about to burst and other than Gigi, whose book on upscale party food is flopping as a result of the economic downturn, she is the only one who seems to have any inkling that it’s happening. The hedge funders and their wives are deluding themselves and, because they are out of touch with the greater reality, their ability to survive the turmoil is as questionable as some of the futures upon which they deal.
Boncompagni’s second novel has a similar storyline to Gilding Lily, her first novel. Both novels feature a beautiful, young, and likeable woman who is out of her element in New York City. As with Lily, Marcy’s world is well researched. Boncompagni clearly knows what’s what and who’s who. She knows what they want and how they get it and she translates that very well into her fiction. Although Hedge Fund Wives didn’t capture my imagination the way that Gilding Lily did, I enjoyed this novel. It was a welcome distraction and read very quickly. If you enjoy chick lit that is as timely as it is juicy (who knew there was such a thing as a gyno spa?), Hedge Fund Wives would make the perfect poolside read this summer.
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- Hedge Fund Wives: How They Are Learning To Cope (huffingtonpost.com)