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Opening Belle

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  5,901 ratings  ·  522 reviews
Maureen Sherry’s funny insider novel about a female Wall Street executive also trying to be a mother and a wife is a “compulsively readable…cheeky—and at times, romantic—battle-cry for any woman who’s ever strived to have it all and been told by a man that she couldn’t” (Entertainment Weekly).

It’s 2008 and Isabelle, a thirty-something Wall Street executive, appears to have
Published February 2nd 2016 by Simon Schuster Audio
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3.39  · 
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 ·  5,901 ratings  ·  522 reviews

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Megan Johnson
I really wanted to like this book. So much so that I requested a review copy to review on my site. Unfortunately I was left feeling a bit disappointed and will ultimately have to mark this one as DNF at 50%


I had high hopes especially after hearing about the fact that Reese Witherspoon has expressed interest toward making it into a movie. Sure, the feminist, stick-it-to-the-man anthems might be a bit played out at this point but still a small part of me hoped that this one would be different enou
Skyler Autumn
Dec 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loath
1.5 Stars

Opening Belle is the type of novel that had so much promise, Isabelle (nicknamed Belle) is a Wall Street Managing Director that is attempting to juggle an all consuming career while being a mother to three kids (if your including the unemployed lay about husband). Everyday Isabelle has got to strap on her mental armour as she enters her office in the finance world and has to endure the countless sexist remarks and unwarranted touching. The far and few between women at this company hav
Author Maureen Sherry brings her real-life experience as a former Wall Street Managing Director to this fictional tale of Isabelle McElroy, an over-worked, under-appreciated, Wall Street Managing Director who is also the mom of three young children, and wife to a husband who has lost interest in working (or carrying his share of the load at home).

As with most books in the working-mom genre, Sherry delivers comical episodes of "overwhelmed mom trying to do too much," usually taking place at the
Rebecca McNutt
Opening Belle seems to have very low reviews, but I loved it for the most part. Isabelle is funny, witty, resourceful and understanding, giving an eye-opening, non-sugarcoated glimpse into the world of Wall Street. I feel like it's a bit of an exaggeration to say the business world is "dominated by men". Does being a man invalidate the hard work you've dedicated towards making it on the most famous financial area of the western world? But as this book points out, women need a chance at this type ...more
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you follow Reese Witherspoon on Instagram you know she is all about posting amazing books that she is currently reading. When I saw Opening Belle by Maureen Sherry pop up I knew I had to read. I mean if Reese recommends it then it has to be good and this was no exception. I would say this book is a cross between Wall Street, Working Girl and Legally Blonde. Maureen Sherry, a former Wall Street managing director, writes a funny, poignant take on what it means to be female in the male driven fi ...more
Mar 24, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book had so many issues that I honestly wish I had DNFed it and moved onto something else.

There really isn't anything here that makes this particularly book great. Ms. Sherry does try to explain the finance world by way of her character, but every time she tries to things fall flat. She should have taken a page out of "The Big Short" and had a celebrity break the fourth wall to explain things that are happening at particular parts of the book.

The main character of "Opening Belle" is Isabe
RoseMary Achey
I have read some depressing books in my day, but I found this novel extremely sad. There is a difference between books were the events are out of the protagonist control ( The Kite Runner, A Little Life, and Cutting for Stone) and those where the events are well within the main characters control.

Opening Belle is an fictional account of a fairly high level Wall Street Investment Bank female employee pre-financial meltdown. Our protagonist is a 30 something wife, mother and highly paid executiv
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe 3.5 stars, but I'm rounding up.

Overall, I liked it. It's basically chick lit with a side of market discussion. It kept me interested because it volleys between the two well; when's the bottom going to drop out of the mortgage market, what's going to happen with Henry, is her marriage salvageable, will anyone file a damn sexual harassment suit? But at the core the most important question is can women really have it all - the high-power career and the happy family? Are there just some jobs
Kristina Aziz

I'm not sure what exactly was supposed to happen in this book, but I stopped reading about 25% through. I simply didn't see anything happening in the story besides Belle complaining about her lazy husband, judgmental ex, and creepy coworkers. It got boring.

The character if Belle herself was fine enough. A mother with a high stress job and a number of kids made me picture her in my mind as Laura from the Mysteries of Laura. This kept me reading until I realized I wasn't seeing much development be
Eva • All Books Considered
Review originally posted at All Books Considered: 2.5 STARS

Where do I start? This very well might be a case of it's not you, it's me. My first status update when reading this book was: I didn't know anyone hated their life this much. And, truly, I could never comprehend, not during the entire course of this book, why someone would continue to live a life that made them so unhappy -- Belle is incredibly unhappy in her job, mostly because she is in a thankless situation with no room for advancem
Judy Collins
Hilarious . . Audio entertaining. Can't wait for the film. Review to follow!
Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}
In 2008 Isabelle, a high-powered woman on Wall Street who seems to have it all - husband, kids, great Upper West Side apartment. However she works in an awful environment - especially for women, doesn't get to see her kids or husband enough and still has so many of the household duties to do. While the women in her firm try to come together to make a change and Isabelle's ex-fiance comes into the picture she can sense a something bad coming in the markets. Can she figure out how to reall
Lynn Spencer
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Something about this book hit a lot of the right notes with me. Since I've been in a reading slump, I was pretty thankful for it, too.

Set on Wall Street just before the market crash, this novel follows the trials and trevails of Isabelle, an outwardly successful director on a trading floor. However, as we get to know more about Isabelle behind the scenes we see that she is butting her head up against a very firm glass ceiling, her work environment resembles a frat party, and her home life is ful
I really wanted to love this one and it sounded like a good bet given the focus on the financial industry and the struggles of a working mom ... and yet, it just didn't work for me. I am struggling with the rating because I didn't hate it or love it. It's really something between it was ok and I liked it. So, I'm going with 2 stars. But, overall, this one wasn't one that will leave an impression. I really never connected with the writing for some reason. I thought the description of the financia ...more
Zoriana Z
(I received this from NetGelley for an honest review. Thanks!)

Why I picked it up

I work in finance, so I read about these groping coworkers with an eyeroll and "oh that is so like so-and-so". Very accurate, especially the whole "raised rich and given a cushy, high-figure job where they goof off while the women do all the work". I've seen and experienced that first hand and it's soooo frustrating.

I'm also obsessed with the 2008 financial debacle. Especially after seeing The Big Short, I wanted to
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was SO excited for this book, but found it really depressing and lacking. The protagonist made no sense - she was at the top of her field, yet incredibly naive and stupid, staying with a shiftless husband for absolutely NO reason even though he ended up destroying her life.

I thought the sexist portrayals of her work were fairly accurate/realistic, and I thought it was incredibly dumb of Belle to think that (view spoiler)
Feb 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This didn't do much for me; I much preferred Bond Girl in terms of learning about Wall Street as an employer. While I liked the aspects of husband as dependent and dealing with sexism and sexual harassment in the workplace, it just didn't move me. She was making over $500k per year and it wasn't enough to live on fir a small family? Sorry but I don't feel your pain here. I also was irritated with the editing; for being published by a major publisher, there were typos and three times a wrong char ...more
Kathleen Gray
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bravo to Sherry for exploring the world of women on Wall Street prior to the 2008 collapse! This is a really well done novel with a terrific main character- Belle is completely relatable for those of us who have done the high stress job/family thing. I loved some of the other players as well, especially Kathryn (and the description of her loft.) The writing is clear and the complications of various financial instruments are well explained (not too much, not too little). Thanks to NETGALLEY and E ...more
Crissy Accordino
Feb 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick read. Belle is a workaholic and relatable. Her husband is a stay at home bum. They have 3 kids. Belle works on Wall Street and feels the strain of working in a man ruled environment. The stock market is about to crash. Belle's life is about to crash. It's an easy read and was perfect for a plane ride. Nothing was GROUNDBREAKING or thought provoking about it but the book does tell a quirky real life story.
Amy Hatch
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good quick read

I didn't expect to love this book but it was very satisfying and offered some acute insights on what it's like to be the wife, mother AND the breadwinner, which sums up my life. I am not a million-dollar earner but I work in the tech industry with a lot of men and much of this rang true.
Melinda Elizabeth
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Opening Belle started off a little dry, I'm not going to lie. Isabelle is a particularly humourless investment banker on Wall Street, with a demanding job and a resentful partner. She trudges through the markets and the streets of New York with unbridled reserve, but with little joy.

Set in the financial climate of 2008, readers already know what to expect. There's a big storm brewing and Belle is going to be caught in the middle of it.

As the GFC decimates the stock market, Belle's personal lif
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that after having read 15% of the book, I seriously considered removing it from my ereader. I had the feeling that i had not understood what was happening. I forced myself hold on for a little bit longer and although there were more parts that seemed like Chinese to me, there were some parts that I liked. They were funning, sad, made you wonder, think and realize that there was a lot of truth in them.
So I am happy I kept on reading but the lesser parts put a too thick a shadow o
“The Chinese consider the number seven to be lucky.”
No. No we don’t.

This is the book that pushed me over the edge of How how long are white people going to make up stupid shit about exotic foreigners because it makes a “cute” theme for their novel? This book is built around the question – why do men get to do whatever the hell they want AND get rewarded for it? I ask the same thing of white people.

(For the other failings of this piece, read the reviews. It’s all been said. I initially picked up
Well-written and the real experience of the author shows in the details, but it could have ended sooner. It’s an introspective look from the female perspective into the complexities of the patriarchy in the financial industry. Timely for #MeToo movement, yes, but just another voice in the conversation.
Flannery Francis
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Meandering story with no plot. A few funny lines, but I could not tell if this was supposed to be lighthearted chick lit (it was not) or literary fiction (a stretch).
Nikki (Saturday Nite Reader)
3.5 stars

Quick read and the story keeps you engaged enough to want to know what happens. A litttle disappointed in the ending (mostly about Bruce), but I liked the last line - very well done.
Julie Wolfe
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good could have left you angry or frustrated but was very real and still hopeful.
Apr 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The cover looks like it belongs to a romantic comedy... However I'd say this book is so much more... It's about women, work, Wall St, making tough choices, standing up for what you believe in, New York City, motherhood, subprime mortgages, finance, an impending financial crash.
Great fun

Interesting, informative. Credible and authentic with a likeable, believable protagonist.
Enjoyed it thoroughly-can't wait for the movie!
'4 more words required' - I HATE that Amazon dictates the length of my reviews.
Marissa Crawford
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gave me flashbacks to my MBA classes in finance and accounting. I did enjoy the story of Belle and her life and career through the subprime mortgage crash in 2008 and 2009. I thought this was a realistic look at how sometimes you love your job and other times you put up with all of the garbage to get some end goal. A couple of things kept me from giving it 5 stars:

1) The main character's name is Belle. While this is a perfectly good name, it seemed like the name might have been chosen
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Play Book Tag: Opening Belle by Maureen Sherry -- 3.5 stars 3 8 May 23, 2017 02:24AM  

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Recently added to the 2010 American Booksellers Association list of Best New Voices, Maureen Sherry was born in New York City and raised in Rockland County, New York. She graduated from both Cornell and Columbia Universities and went on to work on Wall Street, retiring as a managing director after twelve years. Raising four children has made her skilled in all things action-figured, sugary, myster ...more
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“was thinking about us doing business together, about this apartment, how you had turned into such a big shot that you had probably changed and what if you weren’t the Belle I remembered? But then you dropped your earring on your plate and your hose was torn and you seemed so clumsy and adorable and it reminded me that you’re so capable and so vulnerable all at the same time.” 0 likes
“had loved this man so much and with everything I had but we had split and grown and formed new branches and we had to nurture those now, not something we gave up on long ago.” 0 likes
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