Mary M. (Beverly Hills, FL)
A complex and suspenseful plot
Initially, this book is highly reminiscent of "The Devil Wears Prada." Fresh, naive, ambitious young woman, with a sweetly altruistic boyfriend, family pressure, long hours, predatory colleagues, etc., but the protagonist, Sophie, is a very different character indeed. She manages, sometimes by luck, but more often by sheer determination and what can only be called manipulation - which in her investment banking job is not a bad thing - to make a name and a place for herself. And all at the time of the Wall Street implosion of a few years ago.
I did find myself slogging through some of the book, particularly the factual parts about how deals are actually made, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be interesting to others. I was more interested in, and held by the various characters, who are not all what they first seem to be.
Also, the book jacket describes the story as a woman's struggle in a man's world, but this is misleading. The genders of the characters are essentially irrelevant. Yes, Sophie is a young woman, and yes, her bosses are mostly men, but that just seems to be a reality of the business. Nobody is all bad or all good, male or female.
I was actually somewhat surprised by the ending, which is much more complex than the beginning chapters would lead you to expect. Since it was written by a woman who spent some years in this business, I think it is probably pretty accurate - which is a little scary.
Rose N. (Saginaw, MI)
Buying In by Laura Hemphill
"Buyiing In" is an absolutely fascinating portrayal of the inside wheeling and dealing of the fictional Wall Street investment bank, Sterling. The main characters are fully developed...from the shrewd veteran to the wide-eyed newly hired. Having spent seven years working on Wall Street, Ms. Hemphill certainly understands and capably shares with her readers what it takes for a young, ambitious woman to make her stand in this complex world. Even with complete ignorance of this type of high finance, I was utterly drawn into this exciting, dramatic, and totally readable novel. The story gives one good insight into the rise and fall of investment banks such as that which our country has recently experienced. An excellent choice for any reader and for any book club.
Marion C. (Litchfield, NH)
Buying In tells the entertaining story of Sophie's adventures as a first-year analyst with Sterling and Sons, a brokerage investment bank. Sophie is from rural Massachusetts and has a lot to learn on her job dealing with mergers and the idiosyncrasies of big-named corporations in a male-dominated profession. Sophie's ideas of a 9-5 job with anticipated sight-seeing adventures are quickly replaced by reality. She works all-night for most of the five difficult months making changes in merger documents for early morning meetings. Events take place where Sophie quickly matures and applies the advice given by her boss Ethan, surprising both him and the reader. Wall Street, high finances and rigorous deals in a male-dominated profession all pique my interests, so I look forward to her next adventure.
Joan P. (Owego, NY)
Buying In gives the reader a not very pretty picture of the people involved in our banking system. Sophie, the ambitious girl from a small town, finds that it takes dedication and sacrifice to succeed in big business. As the story progresses, we meet Ethan her hard driving boss, Vasu and his family from India, Sophie's father ,her friend from home, Kim. The story takes us through the ups and downs of a merger that the bank is managing and financing. Loyalties are challenged, jobs are lost, lessons are learned, and lives are changed. Or are they? The story was interesting but it was hard to find a sympathetic character I the whole book.
Mal H. (Livermore, CA)
I enjoyed this debut novel from Laura Hemphill. Buying In came across as more non-fiction than fiction. A very realistic glimpse into the world of investment baking. The politics, the interactions, the competitive nature and the not so flattering sides of people and the banking industry as a whole all portrayed very well.
Hemphill does a wonderful job with the main protagonist Sophie, as well as demonstrating the obstacles and challenges a female faces in this predominately male field. Her writing style is well formed for a newbie author.
Hemphill presents an absorbing story in a field that was once held in high esteem, with a great cast of characters in a wonderfully presented narrative. A few twists and turns strength the integrity of the plot/characters.
If you are in the finance or business sector you will really appreciate this novel. If your not in the business field this will give you a great feel for the topsy turvy would of business and a storyline that is rather enthralling. Great debut novel, looking forward to future efforts from Laura Hemphill.
learning the ropes
A young, ambitious woman lands her first post-college job as an analyst with a New York investment bank in 2007. She learns quickly that trust in anyone is a dangerous thing and that in order to succeed one must pretty much give up one's humanity (one must buy in before one can sell out). The irony, of course, is that the book ends just before the banking world implodes, so the reader knows some things about her future that the character does not. The book could use some good editing, but it is well-written enough to keep the reader's interest.