Tuesday, July 20, 2010
by Martha McPhee - available in hardcover
DEAR MONEY is more than just a nice story. Don't get me wrong, it's a terrifically nice story but it's also a serious look at the current financial crisis.
India Palmer is a writer whose books have never given her the financial success she expected. Her husband is a successful artist but together they can't produce the income for the life India aspires to in New York City. Enter Win Johns, a wealthy and charismatic financier who bets that he can turn India into a bond trader within 18 months. India's frustration with her family's financial plight leads her right to Win's office and into the crazy world of buying and selling bonds as well as mortgage backed securities in the secondary market.
Perhaps my previous employment as a mortgage underwriter during the turbulent 1980's brought DEAR MONEY nearer and dearer to my heart, but Martha McPhee has created a different type of thriller with her insight into the world of high finance. She dazzles us with LTVs, basis points and all manner of financial lingo. I have to admit that I've often wondered how our government and lending institutions didn't learn their lesson; many of the same financial formulas applied in the '80s helped to create the current mortgage crisis we're experiencing today.
You'll have to read DEAR MONEY to find out if India continues in the world of finance or returns to her first passion. This is not "chick lit"; it's much more intelligent than that. Kudos to Martha McPhee for creating such a well written and timely novel.