cover image The Recessionistas

The Recessionistas

Alexandra Lebenthal, Grand Central, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-446-56367-3

An inessential romp through the economic collapse of 2008 from Lebenthal, member of a "storied Wall Street family," follows two Streeters as they scramble to salvage their money and their lives. Brash hedge fund owner John Cutter is busy hiding his money from his estranged wife while his accomplice, Blake Somerset, hangs on by a thread at crashing Lehman Brothers. Blake's shrewish wife, Grigsby, meanwhile, keeps a white-knuckle grip on the top rung of Upper East Side society. Look for oodles of air kissing, high-society shindigs, Wall Street jargon, and Bernie Madoff–like skullduggery in this diary of craven greed and its inevitable comeuppance. Lebenthal, unfortunately, has a better handle on matters of the purse than matters of the heart, and while the business dope has its own velocity, the characters are little more than cutouts. (Aug.)