When I first started A Woman of Fortune by Kellie Coats Gilbert I just thought it was going to be a book about a very rich family that happens to run into a problem when the husband is arrested for fraud. A family that was suddenly going to have to face reality when they are forced to give up “the house staff, the lawn maintenance guys, the stable hands and even my masseuse,” as one of the adult children complains. At that point I thought yeah that is almost reality, but the book is really more about finding yourself when you are not defined by worldly items, but by your character.
Claire Massey wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth, but her mother’s second marriage made it readily available and it is what she is used to. Whether throwing multi - million dollar parties or calling her personal shopper to find her shoes to match her dress, Claire loves her life. It all comes crashing down when her husband is arrested for fraud. He was playing fast and loose with his investors' money and it all has caught up with him.
As Claire struggles to understand how it could all happen to her and her family, she also has to deal with the loss of everything she holds dear. Not only their family home in Texas, but also the other homes they have, their cars, clothes, everything is being taken to pay back all the investors that loss their money. For some of the investors not only did they lose their money, but also they were close friends of the family or fellow church members, so they all have to deal with the loss of the friendship.
I am sure most of us will never have to deal with our spouse being arrested for something minor let alone fraud, but we have all had times in our lives that have rocked our world and knocked it off the axis. Even though at times when I was reading it I had a hard time not rolling my eyes when Claire or one of her children were talking about having to let the house staff go or their masseuse, I did understand Claire and how at times it feels like God has abandoned you.
I really did enjoy this book, it was an interesting glimpse into how the 1% lives, but also how far they have to fall when something goes wrong. I can’t imagine a world where you take a helicopter back to your family house, but I do understand a mother wanting to protect her children and how angry she would be at a husband who threatened that.