Monday, September 26, 2011

Hurrah’s Nest: Memoirs of a Money Trader

Barbara Kennedy
iUniverse (2011)
ISBN 9781462011230
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views

"Hurrah's Nest: Memoirs of a Money Trader" is the first book in "The Baby Boomer Memoirs." Not being familiar with this phrase, out of curiosity I looked it up in The Webster's Dictionary which defines "Hurrah's Nest" as the "state of utmost confusion."  That definitely applies to the characters in this novel; however, it takes them some time to figure this out for themselves.

The story is mainly based upon two women, Meg and Becky.  Best of friends and sometimes the worst of enemies, Meg and Becky were both born in the same bed a week apart.  Meg's mother does not survive the birthing, so her father takes her away from the family, to Florida, where he raises her.   Meg and Becky were able to overcome the distance that kept them physically apart by writing to each other.  Through their letters, they shared intimacies like they were sisters.

The circumstances surrounding Meg's loss of her mother and having to move away from family that could have helped raise her left Meg feeling abandoned and out of place.  She was also betrayed and horribly taken advantage of by an older male neighbor.  It seems like Becky got the life that Meg wanted.

As Meg approaches adulthood she decides to pursue an acting career which will eventually take her back to New York and she will be able to be closer to Becky.  Meg is married to Dick and they have to live frugally while he is pursuing a career in directing.  Becky, on the other hand, is married to Kevin, who works on Wall Street as a money market broker.  She appears to live the good life, yet like Meg, neither woman is very happy with her life or her relationship.  Unbeknownst to Meg, Becky feels that Kevin only married her to fulfill a role that will help him achieve his goals.  It isn't until much later that she discovers how his use of his relationship with her has a profound effect on the global market.  And, in the long run it will seriously affect decisions that she has to make for her future.

Meg tires of having to struggle for what she wants. Her husband spends most of his time at work.  She doesn't give the impression that she trusts him. Becky puts up a good front of appearing to enjoy her high class social status as the wife of a man of wealth, who also comes from good breeding.  While she appears happy, deep down she really wants to be with someone who she feelstruly loves her.  Meeting Alex, an older, unfaithful book store owner with a sports car and a wife, Becky begins to feel alive.  But obviously the circumstances are not the best for her.  As her husband's career takes him to other countries, Alex is just a distraction for her.  This is also when Becky begins to see the repercussions of her husband's schemes.

In time, Meg also finds a relationship with a married man. He has wealth and enjoys spending it on her. When Dick's job takes him to California, she stays behind.  Both she and Becky have lives, but they aren't really living. Even as Meg's finances improve, neither woman has the emotional security that she desperately desires.  Meg realizes that Becky's loyalty is to herself first, and that she will take what she needs from others to get what she wants.   Becky and Meg also discover that their pasts are more convoluted and intertwined then they could have ever possibly imagined. Their futures will be as well. Deception is a key theme throughout both of their lives based upon acts done to them, and acts that they do to others. 

I found "Hurrah's Nest" to be a fascinating and compelling novel.  I felt linked to the characters because the story appeared to be so realistic.  The twists and turns that the author takes the plot along provide for many shocking revelations. As I read, I kept thinking, "It is true, money does not buy you happiness; but then neither does poverty." This story also made me realize that true loyalty is more important than anything.  I highly recommend this novel!

Listen to Live interview on Inside Scoop Live