An impoverished argument about women and money.
Perle, editor-in-chief of Common Sense Media, amusingly explains how she became obsessed with money. She was, she says, a good middle-class girl and feminist. Armed with a solid education and a reasonable amount of self-confidence, she imagined that her first marriage, like her high-powered job, would be emotionally as well as financially rewarding. She was wrong on both counts. Jobs, she discovered, can be as fickle as husbands, and husbands can be very fickle. Perle divorced and became unhappy. The thought of starting her life over again while raising a child sent her into a financial panic. Up until this point, the memoir is frank and unflinching, unafraid to reveal Perle’s shortcomings and strengths alike, but it falters when she tries to apply her own experience with money to women in general. Perle occasionally advances lucid social arguments—she recognizes, for example, that social factors condition both women’s economic status as well as their response to inequities—but her book grows frustrating when she tries to remedy economic disparities by encouraging women to feel differently about money rather than by helping them figure out how they are systemically prevented from having any.
Fails in its effort to address broader issues. Readers would be better off investing the money they might be tempted to spend on this book.