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Saturday, April 22, 2017

(34)The Widow of Wall Street by Randy Susan Meyers

Phoebe and Jake have been together for decades.  They dated as kids and grew into adulthood together.  The early days of their marriage were tough, but Jake worked hard to build his investment firm into one of the most prosperous firms in New York City.  Phoebe raises their two children and runs her pet project, a cupcake shop where she donates all of the profits to charity.    Their life is a privileged one and Phoebe knows it.  Her world is shattered when she learns that Jake's successful firm is built on decades of lies.  Jake's Ponzi scheme has had an impact on the lives of everyone they know. In fact, it was their kids that turned him into the feds.  They beg Phoebe to leave Jake and denounce his actions, but life with Jake is all she knows.  She stays by his side through everything; including all of the legal aspects, all of the media scrutiny, everything.  Even though she paid the high cost of a relationship with her children and grandchildren she stayed with the man who stole millions of dollars from their friends and family.   Will Phoebe even stay with him after he goes to prison?  Will she stay with him even when Jake's mistress writes a tell-all book?

The Widow of Wall Street was told in the alternating viewpoints of Jake and Phoebe.   I usually like to see both sides of a story like this but there were many times in this book where Jake's staggering arrogance nearly did me in.  We see their relationship evolve over the decades and it was not always the healthiest of relationships - especially when Jake was having his affairs.  The way he covered it up with Phoebe was a little bit of genius but still made me think he was an arrogant jerk.  While I was engaged with the book and the characters it wasn't until after Jake's secret is revealed that I became invested in the characters - specifically Phoebe.  The change in her was so pronounced and so profound that the very end brought tears to my eyes.  She finally stands up for herself and forces him to realize that she is more than just his wife.

Bottom line - The Widow of Wall Street is a book about a tale that has become familiar to us all. The wife of a powerful, wealthy man discovers that he husband is not the man she thought he was.  What makes The Widow of Wall Street different from all of the other tales out there is the way the author developed Phoebe as a wife, mother, and independent woman.  Such a great read.