Got an interest in Wall Street and want some fairly light-weight fiction to read? If so, Bond Girl by Erin Duffy, may fit the bill. It is, in short, the narrative of a young woman’s experience working on a bond sales desk at a major financial institution. Think of it as Liars Poker (the book that launched Michael Lewis) written from a female perspective, set in the lead-up to the Financial Crisis rather than the Crash of ’87, but without as much of the detail and with less of a moralistic undertone. Lewis was writing of his own experience specifically, but while Duffy’s is a work of fiction, it definitely has a strong feeling of realism throughout, which leads one to suspect quite a bit of the author’s own experience has made its way into the book.
Those looking for a lot of insight into the markets or financial operations on trading desks will be disappointed. There isn’t much. This is a book written by a woman about a woman’s experience trying to navigate her way in a largely male-dominated arena. Some of what the lead character (Alex) goes through would also be experienced by a male in terms of her treatment as a freshly hired analyst (lowest level of trading desk employee), but it takes on a different perspective seen through a young woman’s eyes. Most of the story involves relationships and trading room antics rather than stories about trades and deals and the like.
While I found the end of Bond Girl rather abrupt and disappointing, it did do the desired job of making the train trips I read it on go faster. If you go into it with serious expectations, you’ll likely be disappointed, but if you pick it up as a light read then you’ll probably find it fairly enjoyable.
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