This book chronicles the life of Samantha Bonti as she leaves relative poverty in Brooklyn for a wealthy Manhattan life with a Wall Street husband. For the first hundred pages or so, the book is uneventful. A woman who often refers to herself in the third person falls in love with a showy man whose main character traits are over-eating and listening to Alanis Morissette. Thankfully, the characters are subsequently fleshed out and become far more interesting as the market crash hits and the family self-destructs. Samantha learns that there are rather too many parallels between her marriage and a previous relationship with a mobster. If that had been done subtly, I might be more enamoured with this book. As it is, there is more telling than showing. The first person narrator frequently declares how clear the parallels are and repeats aphorisms.
I liked how linear the plot was. It was generally accessible and an easy, quick read. It has some lessons to teach about the perils of decadence and corruption and the importance of self-reliance. It has strong Christian themes, though relied too heavily on religiosity as a measure of good character.
It is a sequel, so perhaps I would have got more from it if I had read the previous instalment. I was interested enough to read it to the end. Generally, I think this book is a casualty of bad branding or marketing. I’m sure there is an audience that would really enjoy it, but the reviews I’ve seen so far all indicate that they were expecting something that the book didn’t provide. This could indicate that the synopsis was not representative of the content. Reviews complain that it is too much like ‘chick-lit’ or ‘Christian fiction’. I contend that if it had been marketed as such then it would have reached the right readers and perhaps seen fewer negative reviews.