by Erin Duffy
No, not that kind of Bond girl. Bonds as in stocks and bonds, as in Wall Street. This, while a work of fiction, is what I’m afraid might be an accurate and disturbing picture of the goings-on at our financial powerhouses. It’s the story of Alex, a recent college grad starting out as the lowest rung in the hierarchy of a Wall Street firm, and is narrated from her point of view. The shit she has to put up with just to keep her job is astounding. Mostly from male co-workers and clients, I might add, who have egos the size of Australia and money enough to get away with it. “Women can’t hack it on Wall Street” is referenced again and again, and it seems the narrator’s/author’s intention to prove that a woman can have the brains and emotional stability to succeed on Wall Street without resorting to sleeping her way to the top. And I would’ve loved to have seen that story, but that’s not what this book delivered. While the book is entertaining (quite funny in parts) and a bit of an eye-opener, it doesn’t do much to overthrow the assumption that women don’t belong in the world of finance. As a reader, how seriously can I take a main character who’s supposedly dreamt of working on Wall Street since childhood and has a finance degree, but doesn’t know how to use Excel by the time she starts her job? Seriously? I actually paused in my reading to share that tidbit with the boy, who was reading his own book next to me. He was equally scornful. And without too many spoilers, let’s just say the narrator is pretty much the opposite of emotionally stable (though not without reason/provocation). And while I sympathized and even to some degree agreed with the path she took in the end, it wasn’t really a shining counter-argument to the no-women-in-finance issue. Overall, well written and a good read, but slightly disappointing as a woman.
I give it 3.5/5 stars.