Book Review: Our Little Racket by Angelica Baker
One-sentence summary of Our Litle Racket:
A family deals with the fallout once the powerful patriarch is accused of shady investments.
Bob, a ridiculously wealthy Bernie Madoff-life figure, has just been accused of illegal business dealings.
Heâ€™s suddenly out of a job, facing the possibility of jail time, and might lose the millions and millions of dollars heâ€™s made.
The “little racket” can have dual meanings.
Of course, thereâ€™s the racket from Bobâ€™s financial dealings. The big scam. Heâ€™s accused of cheating a lot of people out of a lot of money.
But the significant racket of this book is the little noise the women of his life make, in their little worlds as they deal with their little tragedies in the fallout.
Of course, their lives arenâ€™t in reality little. To Bob and to the public, though, theyâ€™re insignificant; little more than objects of gossip. Baker draws each characterâ€™s role with beautiful depth.
- Isabelle: Bobâ€™s wife has always been the epitome of grace and class. Now that sheâ€™s being ostracized by her group, she hides instead of facing the problems and the family who needs her.
- Madison: Bob and Isabelleâ€™s daughter is hit hardest by the events. Sheâ€™s in the middle of the drama and bears the brunt of it the most. Interestingly, sheâ€™s Bobâ€™s only confidant during the scandal.
- Mina: Isabelleâ€™s longtime frenemy is suddenly forced to be more of a friend. Itâ€™s a difficult role for her. On one hand, she wants to help Isabelle and her family. On the other, she loves being an insider to the drama and gloating in her own superiority.
- Lily: The longtime nanny, once grateful for the opportunity to work for this family, is conflicted by her simultaneous disgust towards Isabelleâ€™s absence and sometimes wavering loyalty towards the children.
And then there are the jerky onlookers. Taking advantage of their vulnerabilities, forming new cliques, and gossiping, gossipping, gossipping.
Itâ€™s a tense and sad look at a family under duress.