Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Book Review: New Money

New Money: A NovelAuthor: Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

A young Southern woman of modest means suddenly finds herself thrust into New York's high society when she discovers that she is the illegitimate daughter of a recently-deceased billionaire.

Savannah Morgan had high hopes. She dreamed of becoming a writer and escaping her South Carolina town, where snooty debutantes have always looked down on her. But at twenty-four, she's become a frustrated ex-cheerleader who lives with her mother and wonders if rejecting a marriage proposal was a terrible mistake. Then Savannah's world is shaken when she learns the father she never knew is Edward Stone, a billionaire media mogul who has left Savannah his fortune on the condition that she move to Manhattan and work at his global news corporation. Putting aside her mother's disapproval, Savannah dives head first into a life of wealth and luxury that is threatened by Edward's other children--the infuriatingly arrogant Ned and his sharp-tongued sister, Caroline, whose joint mission is to get rid of Savannah. She deals with their treachery along with her complicated love life, and she eventually has to decide between Jack, a smooth and charming real estate executive, and Alex, a handsome aspiring writer/actor. Savannah must navigate a thrilling but dangerous city while trying to figure out what kind of man her father truly was.

New Money is a keenly observed, exciting peek into a world of privilege and glamour with a spirited and charming heroine at its center.

They obviously saw me as one of those dateless women who dress in costumes for Renaissance Festivals and knit sweaters for cats and fret about the possibility of their lady parts rotting if they don’t get some soon.

I’d forgotten that a pulled-tight bun was part of the official Library Lady uniform.

Another apology. He was about sixteen and I was twenty-four, and he’d probably been taught to respect his elders and to call women ma’am. It was the southern way. I’d been taught to forget them.

Only that wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted to go places, see things, and write award-winning novels that would fly off bookstore shelves.

I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this book. Whenever I hear the term “New Money”, I immediately think of The Great Gatsby, with Old vs. New Money and East vs. West Egg. This book falls into some of the same Old vs. New Money stigma as Gatsby, but with a more modern twist. The story follows Savannah Morgan, a main character that I loved, as she discovers at the age of twenty-four that her father was a very rich man named Edward Stone and he has left her quite the inheritance. The only downfall is that she must move to New York City to work in his company under his legitimate children. Did I forget to mention that Savannah was conceived as part of an affair? Yeah, so her presence does not fly well with Edward Junior and Caroline, her half siblings. Savannah quickly becomes emerged in the New York social scene and develops quite a thrilling love life for herself while trying to balance her new life!

This story was very fast-paced and kept me entertained one hundred percent. Savannah was already an interesting character before we find out about her father, but following her to New York and watching her deal with her snobby half siblings is even better. Savannah was a highly likeable, at least for me, and was open to embracing the side of her life that she never knew about until now. She didn’t pry too much into finding out who her father was, and I found that odd at times, but she tried to be open and realistic about the situation. Savannah’s move to New York was very liberating and it was amazing to see how she embraced every challenge and conquered some of her most buried fears.

The secondary characters were definitely my favorite part of this book. There were two in particular that I enjoyed the most. I loved Tony, Savannah’s personal chauffeur and her best friend, Tina. Tony was probably the most genuine person that I came across while reading this book, and was always open and very respectful to Savannah. His story was precious and I absolutely adored him. However, Tina was a little less genuine and definitely had some Daddy issues. Tina depended on Savannah a lot more than she realized, and I was very happy to see her branching out of her shell more towards the middle of the novel. They were both great editions to the story!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest review***

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