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The Recessionistas

3.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  331 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
It's the day after Labor Day, 2008, and the elite universe of New York's Upper East Side is about to unravel along with the economy. Socialite Grigsby Somerset is barely aware of her changing world, and has no idea her investment banker husband Blake is about to enter into a devil's bargain with hedge fund owner John Cutter. As autumn unfolds, Grigsby's fairytale life star ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 9th 2010 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2010)
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Nov 09, 2011 Gabrielle rated it it was ok
While the subject matter was interesting the writing style was very stilted and had very little flow to it. Especially in a lot of the dialogue between characters. The conversations and how the characters spoke seemed contrived instead of natural. Also there was too much technical jargon in a book that comes across as a light read. I'm not sure what the author's intention was with this book, whether it was supposed to be a beach book kind of read or something heavier. But the cover alone conveys ...more
Aug 24, 2010 Brenda rated it it was amazing
I really liked the book and didn't know that I would when I initially started it. The main character, is of course Wall Street, but you don't notice it is the main character always as you are caught up in the story of the various characters and the things that happen to them as various things happen on Wall Street, either by their very own manipulationgs or by those around them. Of course the book has a lot of information on how Wall Street works and a couple of times it went into more than I re ...more
Karen Miller
Nov 03, 2014 Karen Miller rated it it was amazing

I did not think I would like this book and I ended up loving it!

The economic recession of 2008 kicked my butt, and it was interesting to see how the collapse of hedge funds and financial institutions like Lehman Bros. affected the upper-middle class -- specifically the stockbrokers making millions of dollars a year -- whose entire lifestyle depended on the money to flowing forever.

I found the characters in the book were written realistically, at the same time wondering "how the hell do people
Nov 27, 2011 Heather rated it liked it
Picked up this recently published book for $1 at the library. Read it this weekend, a wek after watching the documentary Inside Job, about the financial services meltdown a few years ago. This book is about the same subject. I enjoyed it, as I often do enjoy reading about wealthy New York(not sure why, but I do). Because of the documentary I already understood how the meltdown occurred. The author seemed to create situations to explain those details to the reader. A bit contrived. Helpful, even ...more
Cindy Skiles
Oct 11, 2011 Cindy Skiles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It combined lots of things that i like into one novel. I like fashion, New York City and intrigue. There were quite a few interesting sub-plots that held my attention.

The characters were not all that likable. It's hard to feel sorry for someone that has to cut their living expenses to $200,000 a year. Even harder to see it as tragic. That being said, the characters were well developed and quirky enough to be "real" to me.

I would recommend this book. It was our book c
Chocolate & Croissants
The Recessionistas is a chick lit satire of the wives of hedge fund managers who shop at the three B's Bergdorf, Barneys and Bendel and spend their day lunching. The book is both funny and sad. Imagine not being able to survive on $250,000 a year. The horror of it all. What is sad, is that because of greed and Wall Street this country is in the financial mess that it is in. To think that my investment in a fund helped support someone's addiction to Botox, liposuction or a life of really doing no ...more
Angela Livingston
Aug 17, 2010 Angela Livingston rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. I was immediately drawn in by both the characters and the story. Alexandra has a way of making you really understand the characters as if you truly knew them. I personally felt a special kinship to Sasha even though she and I come from two completely different worlds, I like how she thinks. I'm a political junky so I kept up with what was, and still is, going on with the financial crisis and recession. Along with many others in the country I learned of CDOs and deri ...more
Dec 16, 2010 Cheryl rated it liked it
Recessionistas by Alexandra Lebenthal (ARC)
Published by Grand Central Publishing
ISBN 978-0-446-56367-3
At the request of The Hachette Book Group, a TPB was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest opinion.
Synopsis (back of book): It's the day after Labor Day, 2008, and the elite universe of New York's Upper East Side is bout to unravel along with the economy. Socialite Grigsby Somerset is barely aware of her changing world and has no idea her investment banker husband, Blake, is about to enter int
Ashley Gooding
May 17, 2011 Ashley Gooding rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011-reads, bookclub
The Recessionistas
Author: Alexandra Lebenthal
Characters: 2 out of 5
Plot: 2 out of 5
Overall: 2 out of 5
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed from my Library

Description: (Author's Website) It's the day after Labor Day, 2008, and the bottom is about to drop out of the economy. Hedge fund owner John Cutter is in the process of an ugly divorce and nearly in financial ruin, except for the assets he is hiding from his wife Mimi in the Cayman Islands. When he concocts a scheme to redeem himself, he enlists
Nov 22, 2010 Tiffany rated it it was ok
This book has been reviewed for author exposure and is available on my blog.
Synopsis from book:
“It’s the day after Labor Day, 2008, and the elite universe of New York’s Upper East Side is about to unravel along with the economy. Socialite Grigsby Somerset is barely aware of her changing world and has no idea her investment banker husband, Blake, is about to enter into a devil’s bargain with hedge fund owner John Cutter. As autumn unfolds, Grigsby’s fairytal
Nov 30, 2010 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
I enjoyed The Recessionistas. There were five main characters, one of which was Wall Street itself which had a big effect on all the rest. Grigsby Somerset was amusing in her snobbishness and confidence in what is correct, her husband’s assistant thought of her as “Marie Antoinette”. Sasha Silver was a rising star of the business world but somehow didn’t have the political acumen that she needed. Mimi Cutter lived very expensively and was losing her confidence in her own ability of how to dress. ...more
Aug 24, 2010 Gaby rated it really liked it
The Recessionistas can safely be characterized as chicklit set in the middle of the financial meltdown in New York City. While Lebenthal liberally creates unsympathetic characters like the wives of investment bankers, unscrupulous money managers, and backstabbing bosses, we meet:

* Grigsby Somerset- an Alpha for as long as she can remember. Surrounded by people who want to be like her, she her occupation is centered towards the right charities, clothes, and getting her daughter into the correct
Mar 05, 2011 Michele rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I found this book from a review in some magazine a few months back, so when I saw the library had the unabridged audio, I downloaded it for fun.

It's chicklit written by a Wall Street insider-type and the story focuses on a handful of women who lived the high life before Wall Street blew up in 2009. Several of the women live such extravagant lifestyles in their own ignorant world that the reader can't help but feel smug as the crash happens and their life blows up around them. But a couple of the
Feb 17, 2014 Cathyg rated it it was ok
This book was ok. Interesting about the financial downturn because it's recent history and I remember it. The characters were all very shallow, and even though some of them came out well in the end, there are many of use here in the heartland who are still struggling, and do not have the option of bankrolls to start up a new venture.
Mardel Fehrenbach
Jan 15, 2011 Mardel Fehrenbach rated it liked it
I actually enjoyed this book. I didn't expect a lot from it, which perhaps made it more enjoyable. For what it is, it is good. It reads more like a series of bullet points, snippets, or fleeting images, sometimes going back and forward in time, which I feel actually aides in the progression of the story. I enjoyed the details about the crash, the people who were involved and what went wrong or right with them. I felt the fragmented story line was more effective in dealing with these characters a ...more
Jul 07, 2015 Liz rated it liked it
Intetrsting account of the beginning of the 2008 recession and how txt affected the affluent of NYC.
The technical explanations of how events unfolded in Wall Street received excellent treatment.
Amanda Stanzel
Aug 01, 2015 Amanda Stanzel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book surprised me. It wasn't at all what I thought it would be. I really enjoyed and learned some things about the Market crash in 2008. It was a great read!
Writer's Relief
May 11, 2012 Writer's Relief rated it liked it
When Wall Street took a tumultuous turn in the Fall of 2008, it effected the elite Upper East Siders in different ways. Socialite Grigsby isn’t concerned about how her investment banker husband Blake will fare; she only cares about how she can continue with her current lifestyle. Meanwhile, Blake is willing to do anything to avoid the trouble he knows is heading toward. Young, street-smart Renee gets a position with Blake’s hedge fund owner and quickly learns things are even worse than they seem ...more
Mar 08, 2014 Matt rated it did not like it
One of the worst books I've ever read! Can't believe this thing got published.
Feb 08, 2011 Sophie rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I tried to make it through this book, but the wooden dialogue: "Gosh, what do you think is going to happen?" and the Mary Sue characterizations: They also encouraged her to focus on her own strengths: her brain and winning personality. It also was worth noting that she was beautiful... made it impossible. I'm sure there is interesting insider information about the country's financial meltdown in this book but I just couldn't wade through the clunky writing to find it. It's Bonfire of the Vanitie ...more
Gabriela Lessa
Nov 25, 2010 Gabriela Lessa rated it it was ok
I don't know if I was expecting way too much, but this book was a bit disappointing for me. The plot is great, for sure, and it kept me reading until the end. But the writing is not so polished, POVs change way too often and the dialogues feel quite unnatural most of the time. The economy part of it is great, but the personal stories lack appeal. It's nice and the premise is very interesting, but it's not amazing. I do think she has talent, though, and I still believe somewhere down the road her ...more
Mar 13, 2012 Jaclyn rated it it was ok
This book follows the lives of several NY women (and their husbands) during the fall of 2008 as the financial markets were falling. All of the women are associated with the financial markets either directly through their jobs or indirectly through their husbands.

I had to force my way through this book. I really couldn't connect with any of the characters and I think that was because of the writing style. Everything felt a little contrived. Interesting enough. Not a bad read.
Ted Scofield
Jan 18, 2014 Ted Scofield rated it it was amazing
From the undisputed "Queen of Wall Street," a fascinating look behind the curtain at Manhattan's privileged elite ... and the story is a lot of fun!
TheRLPL Rice Lake Public Library
Patron Review:
This was interesting as people's perspective (the characters in the book) of the recession was sadly ruining their lifestyle even though many did not comprehend the magnitude of it.
Dec 15, 2010 Katie rated it really liked it
This book is so much fun. It is like Us Weekly meets Wall Street - bigger than life personalities coupled with outrageous lifestyles all told through the lens of hedge fund trophy wives. It will make you laugh out loud but also teach you a few things about the economic meltdown of 2008. Written by one of the top women on Wall Street, it is as smart as it is engrossing. Put it on your list of to-read books in the new year!
Sep 26, 2010 Jenny rated it liked it
I wanted to give this more stars because it's a fun story and who doesn't love a little schadenfreude and comeuppance? But the writing was quite bad, and it had way too much information on collateralized debt obligations and tranches, etc. (Not too complicated to understand but too dull to read about in a novel.)

Still, it was a mostly fun read. Who knew that people could spend so much money on clothing?
Aug 17, 2011 Holly rated it it was ok
Chick lit takes on the financial meltdown... or the Recession for Dummies. I felt like this book was suppose to both entertain and educate me, and winded up just frustrating me with its flimsy characters, predictable male leads, and "surprise" handouts (a million for her for reading tabloids, 10 million for her for standing up for herself).

I read this book to the end, but it really was just ok.
Oct 09, 2011 Beth rated it liked it
Definitely chicklit, however it was really good! The story follows different women in NYC during the financial meltdown, and how (if) they change, adapt and really get through it. one pf my favorite/ hated characters was the woman who just didn't understand and demanded to maintain her standard of living even though her husband lost his job.

Good beach, airplane, or bottle of wine read.
Diane Drennan Pavia
Dec 13, 2011 Diane Drennan Pavia rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
Was looking for a light read after something heavy. Started out OK but turned into a bad TV-movie plot. Lots of holes and unexplained twists, and then BAM -- it's wrapping up with cutesy, predictable resolutions. Also, the dialog was stilted and not realistic. Author knows the financial industry (though explanations were often rushed and unclear), but definitely doesn't write well. Not worth it.
Oct 11, 2010 JessDesq rated it it was amazing
ZI HIGHLY recommend this book. The author is a noted financial wizard in NYC, and rather than writing a droll book on the Lehman crisis, she chose to write it from the perspective of society ladies and its impact on them. It is a biting commentary on the pre-2008 lifestyles of such women sprinkled with a lot of VERY ACCURATE financial markets information. This book is a MUST READ.
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