Opening Belle had some amazing things going for it. Financial intrigue, crazy trading room floor inappropriateness, women trying to break past the glass ceiling. And then it had some downfalls. Our heroine, Belle, is ridiculously money hungry. Well, that really is the downfall. She sacrificed family time, knowing her children and her marriage to have more. Even when she made three million dollars on a deal it was not enough to make her quit the 15 hour days. Her husband was a money hungry rich kid who spent money like it was water and acted like it was his due. The tale of a trader in the heady days of pre-mortgage bust, Belle is a rare woman trader, a genius at figuring out where a company will go, but horrible at figuring out how to make her marriage work and her kids happy. When her ex-fiancé Henry reenters the picture Belle’s already confused world is turned even more upside down.
Maureen Sherry’s world was vivid. I could hear the shouting on the trading floor, see the men treating the women like pieces of meat and picture the lavish mansions of the upper echelon. The pacing was spot-on, the story never lagged and the action was continuous. The plot was strong and the real world it echoed rang true. The characters were where the story lacked. Superficial and greedy, they almost universally came across as kindof horrible people. The emotions were high and I did feel them, but they were tempered by the wonton money lust.
Opening Belle by Maureen Sherry is in options to become movie with Reece Witherspoon behind it. I can actually see this being a very successful film as the money issues can drive a movie well (see Wolf of Wall Street). For a book it just turned me off. Family to me means everything and while I enjoy my job and the lifestyle it has afforded me, I still place family time as a priority. I could easily go work a corporate job and make an astonishing salary, but the fact that I can spend time with my husband and kids takes precedence. I think that may be why I was just not clicking with the characters, as their drive is so foreign to me. No matter what they made, it was never enough, and sometimes you have to stop and realize what is important.
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.