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Sunday, February 7, 2016

(14)Opening Belle by Maureen Sherry



The year is 2008 and to the casual observer Isabelle has it all.  She has a successful career on Wall Street, a hot husband, and three amazing kids.   But really, her husband is unemployed with no ambition to find a job, she is missing all of the important kid milestones, and her job is beyond grueling.  She keeps plugging along because to quit her job is just not an option.   The balance at work is upset when she is asked to join the "Glass Ceiling Club". A group of her female colleagues who are sick of the unequal pay, sexist jokes, meetings held in strip clubs, and everything else that makes their work lives absolutely miserable. Belle is torn between loyalty to her gender and an intense desire to be able to provide for her family.   Then she finds out that her ex is working for her biggest client.  The ex that she was engaged to.  The ex that ripped her heart out.  But Belle has bigger problems when she realizes that the entire financial world is on the verge of collapse.  Will she be able to escape before her entire world collapses on her.

Opening Belle could be considered a scathing tell all by a former Wall Street insider.  Except that I felt that there wasn't anything quite revealing in this book.  We all have seen Wall Street. The debauchery and misogyny is not really all that surprising.  It is infuriating, but I guess I can understand why Belle put up with it.  The three million dollar bonus made it all worth it, right? Opening Belle has the premise to be another "girl power" kind of book, but instead I didn't see a lot of depth to Belle.  I didn't see her as genuine like I did with Imogen Tate in the last book I read.  I almost wanted to put this one in the "Did Not Finish" pile, but I stuck with it just because I wanted to see what was going to happen with the Ex.  It took an unexpectedly weird turn, but then continued down the predictable path.

Bottom line - Opening Belle is getting a lot of praise for being a "tell all", but it was hard for me to really get into the story. All of the financial mumbo-jumbo really made it tough to read. I am not sure why, but it just really fell flat.

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