MAYE & FAYE'S BUILDING & LOAN by Maye Smith

MAYE & FAYE'S BUILDING & LOAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Small-town values--integrity, responsibility, neighborliness, hard work--prevail in the success story of two sisters from West Virginia. Savings and loan companies were crumpling across the country at the same time Maye and Faye were turning a profit at the Point Pleasant Federal Savings & Loan in their small town. Maye and Faye are identical twins who began as tellers at the bank. Maye (``more bossy'') went on to become its president, Faye the vice president. Although conservative in their investments and in banking practices, the twins took the bank beyond its cozy, river-town framework, investing, for instance, in real estate outside West Virginia, obtaining a federal charter, selling stock, and eventually (in 1995) selling the bank for $17.5 million. Not bad for a couple of high school graduates whose family was so strapped for cash that the nearsighted twins shared a pair of eyeglasses. Coauthor Whitaker was also a writer on the bestselling Beardstown Ladies Common Sense Guide to Investing, but there is no literary or financial bonanza here. Maye and Faye alternate in telling tales of their childhood and growing up, their slow and steady progress in the banking industry, and humdrum anecdotes of admirable but undistinguished customers and colleagues. Stories of Point Pleasant's changing economic scene and of the frequent flooding of Main Street offer a lift. But the few glimpses of banking behind the scenes and two pages of tired financial and career tips (``Save a portion of every pay check,'' ``Know your competition'') don't add weight to the commendable but mundane story of the twin bankers. Hooray for Maye and Faye, but their story, unfortunately, is a magazine article stretched too far. ($65,000 ad/promo; author tour)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-06-017438-2
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1996