Money: A Memoir

Recently, I develed into the incredible Money: A Memoir by Liz Perle. Part autobiography, part social commentary, part psychological study, this book explores the relationship between women and their finances. After a painful divorce, Perle began analyzing her own tenuous relationship with money, and realize that so much of her financial instability was driven by her emotions. Though she had a decent job and all the tools necessary to stick to a budget, she felt insecure about her own ability to be financially independent.

As a girl currently struggling to develop a working budget, this book really drove home some good points. Not only did it drive me analyze what I really need in life versus unnecessary spending, it drove me to think about how I FEEL about money. Definitely not something people do everyday, or at least not this person.

It lead me to some pretty interesting conclusions including the need for our generation to recreate the middle class, to know when having enough is enough and to strive for a life that is comfortable and stable, rather than affluent. While these things are not what will work for everyone, they are what works for me. You have to learn what your priorities are in life. For some, it is working to make as much money as possible. For others, its to work just enough to allow for more family times. For others, it is to work enough to engage in a creative passion. Obviously, there is no one answer or one-size fits all solution.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone looking to create a more stable financial plan. While it is not a step-by-step guide, Pele writes beautifully and raises many questions you may not have considered at this point.

This gets my maximum recommendation: 5/5.

Until next time my fellow bookworms.

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The Girl in the Gatehouse

Author: Julie Klassen
Length: 391 pages
Copyright: 2010, Bethany House Publishers

Source: Goodreads

Set in 1813, Julie  Klassen’s “The Girl in the Gatehouse” definitely echoes the themes and style of the author’s favorite, Jane Austen. For that reason alone, I believe Austen fans will enjoy this book. After being caught in the center of a family scandal, Mariah Aubrey finds herself banished to the gatehouse on her elderly aunt’s estate. At first, her only companionship comes in the form of her former nurse, turned lady’s aide, Dixon. Just as the women begin to accept their fate as lonely women cast aside, Mariah’s aunt passes away.

After the death of her aunt, the estate undergoes some interesting changes, as the estate’s heir rents out the home to the handsome, and somewhat mysterious, Captain Bryant. As Bryant attempts to get to know the “girl in the gatehouse”, Mariah finds herself torn between her principles and her heart. Having been burned once, she’s a little gun-shy, but truly begins to care for Bryant. Of course, Bryant has secrets of his own, and his heart has its own agenda.

In addition to the reasons behind her banishment, Mariah holds another secret. In order to pay the rent that her aunt’s stepson imposed, she has been making her living as an author. She wants no one to discover this secret for fear that her soiled name will impact the sale of her books, or that being a woman-writer will bring further shame on her family.

With secrets and romance aplenty, “The Girl in the Gatehouse” has the potential to become nothing more than a frivolous romance novel. Instead, Klassen writes with a style that makes you feel for Mariah, Dixon, Bryant and the other characters they become involved with. Rather than become simply a romance (and I have been known to devour a few supermarket-checkout romances in my life), this story becomes more about the struggle of a girl to make it on her own in 19th century England.

For Austen fans and anyone who loves this time period, I would recommend picking up the book. Others may struggle a bit to get into the language and mindset of the times, but it’s definitely still a good read. I found myself struggling at points to really get into the meat of Klassen’s book. However, after completion, I definitely was glad I had stuck with it. If you’re like me and sometimes just want to read a good story, pick up “The Girl in the Gatehouse” Overall, I would give the book a solid 3 out of 5 rating for excellence.

Have something you think I should read next? Leave a comment!


Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers. However, all opinions expressed in this review are solely my own. I receive no compensation, other than a free copy of this book, to write a review.

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