Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Woman of Fortune by Kellie Coates Gilbert

As promoters liked to say about the LAW & ORDER show, Kellie Coates Gilbert's new book A Woman of Fortune is ripped from the headlines.  Gilbert says her story was influenced by the Bernie Madoff scandal and its effects on the innocent members of his family as well as a true cattle fraud case that Gilbert worked on during her legal career.  Texas socialite Claire Massey has become so accustomed to the lavish lifestyle she and husband Tuck enjoy she fails to consider all that it must take to make it possible.  Shocked to learn that her husband of almost 30 years has been arrested for defrauding countless investors, many of them their own friends and family, Claire must take a hard look at herself, her life, and her loyalties.

Hounded by the media and shunned by those who once clambered to be part of her inner circle, Claire must scrape enough strength to find a job and begin again.  After Tuck is sentenced to prison, Claire must make one more decision -- make their separation legal or fight to keep their marriage and family intact.  

I've never read anything by Kellie Coates Gilbert before.  Truthfully, I was attracted to the cover of this book -- kept seeing on blog postings and book advertisements this spring and the bright color just dragged me in.  When I read the "trailer" to the book, I thought it would be an interesting read so I obtained the book through our library system.  Plot, style of writing, character development -- all around, Gilbert is spot on.  Even the vastly different ways Claire's adult children and her mother react to the scandal is presented in a realistic manner that adds depth and spark to the story.  And her one remaining friend adds some humorous relief.  Dialogue was flavored with what I believe are authentic Texas-isms, nothing hokey or overdone, just enough to make this a Southern tale.

Too many books that I've been reading lately have been parts of series, and that means I need to keep track of past stories and make commitments to future books, or accept that I won't know the whole story.  I love that this was a stand-alone book (although labeled a TEXAS GOLD NOVEL).
Good writing, great story, great message.   

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