An engaging, true story of one family’s turmoil in 1970s Brazil.

For Love and Money, The Brazil Affair

THE TRUE STORY OF A FAMILY'S QUEST

In this creative retelling of a true story, Kelley writes of her family’s international financial crisis.

In the early 1970s, the author, her husband, Jack, and their four daughters moved from Greenwich, Connecticut, to Brazil. Jack had recently lost his broadcasting job, and his former employers were cruelly keeping him out of the industry. He met a tenacious yet mysterious man named Jerry Green and seized an opportunity to join his business ventures, which included gold mining, logging, shrimping and selling beef. Jerry’s ideas were numerous, as were his connections; according to the author, he was a war hero with ties to the CIA, Brazilian officials and possibly the mob. After Jerry took Jack on a tour to see the enterprises firsthand, Jack agreed to invest $40,000—without Marilyn’s knowledge. Jerry helped Jack find an American school in Rio de Janeiro for his oldest daughters, Lynne and Evan. The girls found fun and freedom in Brazil while their mother, back in Connecticut, packed up the family’s belongings and prepared to sell their house. Meanwhile, Jerry was frequently out of touch, causing Jack to worry as he prepared to resettle his family and solidify his gold-trading prospects. But soon after Marilyn and the youngest girls, Diane and Heather, came to Rio, Jerry’s shadiness came to light. It turned out that he wasn’t planning to share any profits—or give the Kelleys their money back. The Kelleys pursued several avenues, including alerting the Brazilian authorities and the FBI; they even got in touch with Brazilian gangsters who wanted to see Jerry dead. Finally, they found an unexpected method of retribution. This harrowing tale of a family determined to survive in a new country offers exciting plane rides, gripping chases and a glimpse into international relations in the 1970s. Kelley tells the story through each family member’s perspective, and although readers may find Jerry’s shadiness immediately apparent, it’s also made clear that Jack needed a way to support his family and that Jerry shared information that made him seem trustworthy. The author also shows the beauty and fierceness of Brazil (“Rolling waves, like a fierce battalion of oncoming soldiers, pounded the sand with roaring force”) as she and her husband worked to keep their family afloat.

An engaging, true story of one family’s turmoil in 1970s Brazil.

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-1484809129

Page Count: 370

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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