Our Little Racket
A captivating debut about wealth, envy, and secrets: the story of five women whose lives are dramatically changed by the downfall of a financial titanOn September 15, 2008, the world of Greenwich, Connecticut, is shaken. When the investment bank Weiss & Partners is shuttered, CEO Bob D’Amico must fend off allegations of malfeasance, as well as the judgment and resentment of his community. As panic builds, five women in his life must scramble to negotiate power on their own terms and ask themselves what —if anything—is worth saving.In the aftermath of this collapse, Bob D’Amico’s teenage daughter Madison begins to probe her father’s heretofore secret world for information. Four other women in Madison’s life —her mother Isabel, her best friend Amanda, her nanny Lily, and family friend Mina —begin to question their own shifting roles in their insular, moneyed world. For the adults, this means learning how to protect their own in a community that has turned against them. For the younger generation, it means heightened rebellion and heartache during the already volatile teenage years. And for Lily, it means deciding where her loyalties lie when it comes to the family in which she is both an essential member and, ultimately, an outsider. All these women have witnessed more than they’ve disclosed, all harbor secret insecurities and fears, and all must ask themselves—where is the line between willful ignorance and unspoken complicity?With astonishing precision, insight, and grace, Angelica Baker weaves a timeless social novel about the rituals of intimacy and community; of privilege and information; of family and risk; of etiquette and taboo.

Our Little Racket Details

TitleOur Little Racket
Author
Formatebook
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 20th, 2017
PublisherEcco
ISBN0062641336
ISBN-139780062641335
Number of pages512 pages
Rating
GenreFiction, Contemporary

Our Little Racket Review

  • Kristy
    June 15, 2017
    The idyllic community of Greenwich, Connecticut is shaken when the investment bank, Weiss & Partners, fails. Its CEO, Bob D'Amico--a man known throughout the banking community for his loyalty to his employees--is at the center of the storm: did Bob know this was coming? And even worse, did things fall apart due to criminal actions on his part? Meanwhile, Bob's teenage daughter, Madison, struggles to understand what this all means, both for her father and her family. She gets little help from The idyllic community of Greenwich, Connecticut is shaken when the investment bank, Weiss & Partners, fails. Its CEO, Bob D'Amico--a man known throughout the banking community for his loyalty to his employees--is at the center of the storm: did Bob know this was coming? And even worse, did things fall apart due to criminal actions on his part? Meanwhile, Bob's teenage daughter, Madison, struggles to understand what this all means, both for her father and her family. She gets little help from her mother, Isabel, who offers Madison no comfort during this crazy time. Madison's nanny, Lily, is busy caring for her younger twin brothers. Isabel's best friend, Mina, wants to help, but is still too afraid of offending Isabel: a pillar of the Greenwich scene. And Madison and her best friend, Amanda, seem to be drifting further apart every day. Madison and her family are under intense scrutiny, yet she's still just a girl trying to navigate being a teen. She's sure her father didn't do anything wrong; right? I had a tough time with this book. There were several points where I considered setting it down for others in my always growing "to be read" pile, but I soldiered on. I can't say I really enjoyed it, though I did find parts of it interesting. It's clearly influenced by the Madoff scandal, which is referenced in the novel, and there is a lot of financial lingo in the book, even if it's really a story of a troubled family at its core. The problem is that so few of the characters are really engaging, and the story seems to drag on endlessly at points. It's a peek in the world of the truly wealthy (think household servants, golf courses at their homes, multiple residences, hired cars, etc.), but I found myself unable to care for most of the characters. None of them are very nice to each other, and Bob and Isabel come across as neglectful and awful parents for the majority of the story. Even worse is the gaggle of Greenwich women, who gossip about the situation, feel like they are unable to continue to purchase expensive clothing and wares after Bob's "situation," and generally just annoy you with their harping. They don't understand anything about what their husbands do, but they run their households (well, they delegate it all) and fear that their carefully polished way of life is in jeopardy. You understand that this is a serious event for them, but you don't really care. Was I supposed to feel sorry for them? The novel is confusing at times in this facet. Perhaps I missed a great point somewhere: is it profound or just pretentious? Hard to tell. The one thing that kept me reading was Madison. While she could be hateful at times, the story of her coming of age in a very strange environment, with a spotlight shining on her, was the most interesting part of the novel. Her dynamic with her father, whom she clearly adored, and her cold, distant mother, was far more fleshed out than any of the other characters. You could see her struggling to find her place in the world: she was just doing it under the watchful eye of the community (and a security detail hired to keep the press away from her family). Baker deftly portrays Madison's heartbreaking forays in romance, as well as some great scenes in which the teen shows off some spunk that will have you rooting for her. I couldn't help but want to give her a hug: even though I could see that her mother was a complicated individual, her parents were pretty awful, and poor Madison was forced to confront that in some terrible ways. Still, despite Madison's story, most of this book fell flat for me. The epilogue was interesting and tied up some loose ends, but it ended things very abruptly as well. So much of the novel was about how Greenwich was nothing but smoke and mirrors: nothing was real in this world. Yet, I would have enjoyed some characters who felt more human, whom I could relate to in some way, whom I wanted to care for and to see come out of this "crisis" intact. Rating a 3-star due to Madison and the intricate story, but probably more of a 2.5-star on the overall enjoyment level scale for me. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Edelweiss (thank you!) in return for an unbiased review; it is available everywhere as of 06/20/2017. Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Google+ ~ Instagram
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  • Katelyn
    January 18, 2017
    This book kept pulling me along, but I wasn't enchanted with it. It follows a very wealthy family living in the NYC suburb of Greenwich, CT. The dad, Bob, was CEO of a big bank that declared bankruptcy after some seriously shady accounting reports. How much did Bob know? Will he go to jail? Baker follows Bob's wife Isabel, teenager daughter and twins. The wife is an ice queen who barely pays any attention to her children, holing up in her room for weeks after the bank fails and relying heavily o This book kept pulling me along, but I wasn't enchanted with it. It follows a very wealthy family living in the NYC suburb of Greenwich, CT. The dad, Bob, was CEO of a big bank that declared bankruptcy after some seriously shady accounting reports. How much did Bob know? Will he go to jail? Baker follows Bob's wife Isabel, teenager daughter and twins. The wife is an ice queen who barely pays any attention to her children, holing up in her room for weeks after the bank fails and relying heavily on the nanny. The dad stays away from home for weeks, not even bothering to call his children on the phone to check in with them. To what parents would these be acceptable behaviors?I think this book was interesting enough for me to keep reading because it felt like a tiny glimpse into the lives of a very rich family. Your picture of each family member builds throughout the book, but the parents are neglectful and clueless to their neglect, and I never got attached to any of the characters. Half the time I was reading this book, I looked forward to being done with it so I could read a book where I connect with the characters more.
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  • Karen
    June 9, 2017
    Poor little rich girl story. Couldn't finish it because I didn't care about the characters and after awhile I couldn't stand them. Kept waiting for something to happen other than people being nasty. Soap opera stuff.
  • Christian Caminiti
    June 17, 2017
    smart, subtle and quietly disturbing. the opening of blue velvet in book form: a slow zoom-in on some handsomely manicured lawns that doesn't stop until you see everything rotting just beneath the surface. a must read for ppl interested in contemporary fiction.
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  • Gigi
    June 11, 2017
    Ambitious novel centering around five women directly affected by 2008 bank bailouts. Loved learning about characters from others. A lot of substance but thoroughly entertaining.
  • Amy .F.
    May 15, 2017
    Beautifully written and rendered.
  • Jennifer Burrell
    May 7, 2017
    I loved this book from beginning to end! Great characters.
  • Teresa
    January 20, 2017
    A captivating look at how an ultra-successful family deals with the one thing they never expected, failure. We see the D'Amicos' status change almost overnight, and we view the wreckage of their particular American dream through the eyes of the women in scion Bob D'Amico's life. His 15-year-old daughter, Madison, deals with her family becoming the subject of gossip in Greenwich, CT, practically a company town for the finance industry in nearby New York. She must reexamine who she can trust and w A captivating look at how an ultra-successful family deals with the one thing they never expected, failure. We see the D'Amicos' status change almost overnight, and we view the wreckage of their particular American dream through the eyes of the women in scion Bob D'Amico's life. His 15-year-old daughter, Madison, deals with her family becoming the subject of gossip in Greenwich, CT, practically a company town for the finance industry in nearby New York. She must reexamine who she can trust and who she is if the father she has adored all her life is a failure and possibly a criminal. She gets little help from her mother, Isabel, or her former best friend, Amanda. Her long-time nanny, Lily, has to decide where her loyalties lie as the family she has long taken care of begins to crumble around her. And Isabel's best friend, Mina, tries to support the family without becoming tainted by their shame and notoriety. They all must answer the question of what they have to hold on to when the world as they knew it shatters.
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  • Andrew Kaufman
    April 23, 2017
    This book held my attention throughout - the seamless prose and compelling growth and depth of the characters made a 500+ page novel feel like a quick read. Through the lens of five powerful women, Our Little Racket provides a snapshot of the Financial Crisis' effect on the family of a Wall Street CEO and on their ultra-wealthy town. From the moment you are introduced to the daughter, Madison, you know she is going to be the standout, but each woman draws you in and makes you care about her stor This book held my attention throughout - the seamless prose and compelling growth and depth of the characters made a 500+ page novel feel like a quick read. Through the lens of five powerful women, Our Little Racket provides a snapshot of the Financial Crisis' effect on the family of a Wall Street CEO and on their ultra-wealthy town. From the moment you are introduced to the daughter, Madison, you know she is going to be the standout, but each woman draws you in and makes you care about her story for different reasons. The immense quality of the writing is only a bonus.
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  • Heather
    April 8, 2017
    I was excited to get an early copy of this book; the subject and characters seemed intriguing. But I was ultimately disappointed. While the story was basically what I expected, it never really grabbed me. The characters are built on stereotypes for the most part. The plot is predictable. I kept having a nagging feeling that all of it was familiar, finally deciding that it seems to borrow heavily from The Sopranos (not the violence or graphic nature of the tv show...there is none of that in this I was excited to get an early copy of this book; the subject and characters seemed intriguing. But I was ultimately disappointed. While the story was basically what I expected, it never really grabbed me. The characters are built on stereotypes for the most part. The plot is predictable. I kept having a nagging feeling that all of it was familiar, finally deciding that it seems to borrow heavily from The Sopranos (not the violence or graphic nature of the tv show...there is none of that in this book... but the characters, the way they handle things, some of the ways they seem to view the world, etc). The tone/writing style reminds me of books by Emily Giffin--flat, monotonous, heavy. The shift in focus between the various characters was promising, but ultimately falls flat; I kept forgetting who was the focus in many spots, having to backtrack to figure out who was supposed to be thinking/saying what. And honestly, many of the characters run together; despite their different traits, most basically have the same voice. The ending is rushed, anticlimactic, and predictable to the point of cliche, . I think what disappointed me the most that there was nothing new or particularly insightful included in any part of the novel.
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  • Susan
    May 26, 2017
    EW Summer's 20 Must-Read Books (2017)
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