I have always loved what regular readers say about my work. The last time I published a novel, 2006, the world was different. If the Amazon Vine Program existed, I didn’t know about it. I had no direct sense of what readers were saying unless they sent a fan letter. The internet was not where it is today in terms of social media and book programs for readers. I am grateful to the insightful, careful, thoughtful readers who participate in Amazon’s Vine Program and cared enough about Dear Money to write thoughtful reviews. Below I excerpt a few passages:
Martha McPhee is the real deal. Her novel is engrossing, intelligent, playful, and timely. And it would be a shame if it did not get the high readership it deserves. …. Can writers or traders afford to compromise? What would compromise “feel” like? Ms. McPhee writes, “To leave now, to scale back, to compromise would be to live within a shadow of regret, of second-guessing, of exile.” This timely American story of our culture on the brink kept me reading way into the night and in a strange way, cheering for India Palmer. Read it and enjoy!
If you have ever agonized over money, if you have tried to sleep and thought of which bills you could pay, if you have awakened in the morning and the bills, the mortgage, tuition, co-pays, deductibles and property taxes are your first thoughts as you face the day, Dear Money will share your angst.
Needing money can control your self-esteem and your ability to function. Needing money inhibits you from enjoying a play, a good dinner, art, and a child’s accomplishment to name a few lost pleasures. This economy has foisted egregious problems upon us, creating an obsession with freedom from wanting.
Martha McPhee has written an original masterpiece, which responds to our dreams of being able to have what we want without worry….
I was incredibly interested in the premise of this story. Can a published, but not financially successful author become a mega-wealthy bond trader and would she even want to? …. Well written, fantastic character development, intriguing story – a winner on all fronts. I’ll be seeking out Martha McPhee’s other books from this point forward.
Dear Money is, quite simply, delightful. …. McPhee is a gifted writer with an observant eye. Her characters and settings really come to life. I can see the house in Maine, the apartment in New York, the publisher’s office, and the trading floor. Even better she is able to explain clearly the arcane world of mortgages, mortgage bonds, and that market in words a regular person would understand. It’s a delightful book, one you’ll enjoy.
This is a rich stew of a story, a character-driven, prose-rich and savory marinade that simmers slowly, tastefully, and, in the end, leaves you full and satisfied. It is the story of two people (and their spouses) that do a bit of a role reversal in order to acquire their personal definition of fortune.
India Palmer, a critically acclaimed, award-winning, but cash-poor novelist, struggles to balance the budget and keep up with “The Joneses.” Her husband, Theodor, a sculptor, is content with their bohemian lifestyle, (which is not too shabby, more like chic shabby.) They have a rent-controlled apartment in New York and two beautiful daughters. But India wants, she desires, she hails–money. She craves the material pleasures and lifestyle that her investment-banker friend, Will Chapman, and his wife, Emma, already possess. Interestingly, Will wants to walk away from his Wall Street job and write novels.
Every summer, Theo and India visit with the Chapmans in Pond Point, Maine, where Will and Emma rent a house for the summer, a house they are poised to buy. It is old, damp, drafty, but it has charm, a turret, and a million-dollar view. When their cravenly wealthy, securities-trader friend, Win, swoops down to visit in his canary yellow plane, the die is cast for India. Win makes an offer to mentor India on Wall Street and turn her into a brilliant bond trader.
McPhee develops her story and characters gradually, fully, and with a page-turning brio. She utilizes some conventions in her broad strokes but she shakes it up and out of the box enough to leave her own thumbprint. Her narrative crackles with colorful imagery and megawatt metaphors, and she strikes a supple balance between the inner and outer lives of her characters. Her exploration of the human desire for transformation and the tug of war between art and commerce is acerbically keen. The final scene is ironically triumphant and sublime.
Thank you Vine Program. Thank you to the generous readers who took time and careful thought to share their opinions of my Dear Money. Please visit the Amazon page for Dear Money to see all of the reviews. There are more. Thank you.