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THE EX-MRS. HEDGEFUND by Jill Kargman

THE EX-MRS. HEDGEFUND

By Jill Kargman

Pub Date: April 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-525-95098-1
Publisher: Dutton

A Wall Street wife attempts to bid goodbye to all that.

Holly Talbott’s husband Tim wheels and deals for powerhouse Comet Capital, and she’s an acute observer of the grazing habits of “hedgies.” Kargman (Momzillas, 2007, etc.) presents Holly as morally superior to her adopted überclass, though her mini-revolts are hardly earth-shattering. She doesn’t do luncheons. Avowedly superannuated at 34, she resolves to resist the Botox- and lipo-assisted ageless look. She bucks family ire to meet on the sly with potty-mouthed BFF Kiki, an outspoken Jewish fish-out-of-water among the WASP-y Talbotts who has just divorced Tim’s brother, much to the chagrin of the clan’s dragon-lady matriarch. On a clandestine expedition to Brooklyn, Holly and Kiki spot Tim in midclench with a gold-digging vixen. From there we get the too-familiar social travails of the ex–Mrs. Master of the Universe. Holly is blackballed from the blue-chip fundraising circuit, politely shunned (while dropping her son Miles off at school) by her fellow yummy-mummies and forced to date off Wall Street. So is Kiki, who abandons her trash-talking-sexpot persona—and her contempt for too-handsome guys—the minute she meets gallery impresario Lyle Spence. Holly’s dating woes mount: She dallies with clubsters obsessed with collectible sneakers, mistakes a cockroach for a caress and is kicked out of a Connecticut cabin by a would-be date rapist. Although distinguished by Kargman’s wit, this is less social satire than standard-issue romantic comedy: Holly and Kiki prevail, not by forsaking rich men, but by attracting nicer ones. Readers hoping for a serves-them-right tell-all as the charmed lives of the Talbotts and their ilk disintegrate will have to settle for two pages of post-subprime “follow-ups”; the novel was obviously written before financial Armageddon arrived.

Funny, but in the current economic context, ill-timed.