What She Knew, by Nadine Galinsky Feldman, is an insightful and thought-provoking peek into the 2008-2009 financial crisis.
Liz Nabor is driven, intelligent, and ambitious. She’s built a successful Wall Street career, has a gorgeous boyfriend, and enjoys a glamorous Manhattan lifestyle. Then the financial crisis hits. But that’s not all. Liz has to leave New York in the midst of the financial meltdown for a family emergency. While in Washington Bernie Madoff’s multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme is discovered and Liz finds herself in the heart of the scandal.
Can she survive? And can her aunt’s past in the financial world shed light on Liz’s career?
The financial crisis that hit the United States in 2008 is still fresh in many people’s mind. While the American economy has recovered some, thousands and thousands of people are still reeling from the crisis. Many readers who would like to know more about the behind the scenes of Wall Street can learn a thing or two from What She Knew.
Liz isn’t a hustler, but her due diligence was a bit lapse. When she has to face how her investment decisions impacts her clients, it’s a difficult pill to swallow. But that isn’t all. This novel opens up a discussion of who should be blamed for the behind the scenes scheming. Obviously, Madoff is guilty and will be locked up for the rest of his natural life. How should individuals and society view Liz: culpable or duped? It should be noted that Liz is a fictional character.
It’s an interesting argument. To make it more interesting, the author created a main character who isn’t always the most likeable. During her time in Washington, she can’t stop herself from comparing the town to the glam in Manhattan. She’s honest and a snob, which is probably the image many of us have of those on Wall Street. Yet Liz is still a sympathetic character. As you continue following her story, the legal problems, the threat of going to jail, and family drama, it’s hard not to feel for her. Part of the reason is Liz’s reaction to what’s going on: it’s real and heartfelt.
The conflicting emotions of despising the Wall Street snob and hoping that things work out for her makes for entertaining reading. And the reader hopes Liz will see the light. It gives hope that no matter what, people can change their ways if they really want to. This accomplishment is a feat for the author. Liz is flawed, but not so flawed she can’t change.
The one disappointment, and it’s a small and slightly greedy one, is that the author didn’t share enough details of the legal issues near the end. Without spoiling the ending, there’s a great bit of backroom deals and snooping that greatly affects Liz’s future, but the reader doesn’t get to see these machinations and only learns about them at the end.
All in all, though, this is an entertaining and eye-opening read that leaves the reader thinking that not all people, even Wall Street people, are corrupt through and through.