the next good book

Our Little Racket

By Angelica Baker


495 pages

What’s it about? This book takes place in Greenwich, Connecticut at the height of the financial collapse of 2008.  Bob D’Amico runs a powerful investment bank until things begin to crumble all around him.  Has he just taken too many risks or is he a criminal?  Either way he has ruined the lives of a lot of people.  Seen through the eyes of his daughter Madison and four other women that are close to the household- this novel gives us a slice of how families were affected by the financial crisis.
What did it make me think about? I just so hope that this is not what the wealthy women of Greenwich are really like….  The women in this book come across as manipulative, cunning, shallow, and insecure.“Many of these other women were like Mina, had grown up in places that were nothing like this, but they’d forgotten it so fast.  They’d blinked and then suddenly were women who deserved this, who could talk to Isabel D’Amico and pretend they understood her.  The only thing that remained of their old selves was the survival instinct, the willingness to claw another women out of the way.”Should I read it? I had two issues with the book.  First- Angelica Baker is a fine writer but she needed some self restraint and a better editor!  No one wants to read almost 500 pages about these people.  They warrant 300-350 pages at most.  Second- the motivations of the characters were oblique and hard to decipher.  The women were almost cartoonish in the way they were portrayed.  I am sure their is some truth in here but it seems buried under a lot of cliches.  It is an ok beach read…but who are these people? Quote- “A few Italian words sprinkled here and there and the annual Christmas-Day car ride to Nanna Connie’s because Isabel would never say anything in front of her mother-in-law.  It wasn’t the potential weight gain that bothered her mother, Madison knew, or that wasn’t what bothered her the most.  It was the wanton disregard for discipline, Madison’s willingness to let everyone around her see how bottomless her appetites were, how raw her hunger.  If you wanted something, her mother believed, you took steps to acquire it in the privacy of your own home, so that by the time you are out in the world again, you had everything you needed.  You did not let other people see you as grasping, desperate.”

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