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

For Love and Money, The Brazil Affair


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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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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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 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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