Book Review: Mrs. Banker
Reviewed by Toni Woodruff
Bold, brash, sexual, and determined—Mrs. Banker is a character-driven historical novel about breaking barriers and making money.
You know the story all too well. It’s the 1960s. A brilliant young woman is at the doorstep of big business; in this case, it’s the banking industry, a boys club overflowing with bravado, money, and misogyny. A number of incredible women have been passed up job after job because of their dress, getting less money and being made to feel uncomfortable and occasionally unsafe.
But Mrs. Banker doesn’t do that.
Mrs. Banker—aka Hannah—breaks down the barriers of the boys’ club and climbs her way to the top of the corporate banking industry. She’s unafraid to say what she has to say, to make big splashes at a new company, and to show the boys that she can turn things around and bring in more money than they ever dreamed of. And along the way, she’s unafraid to chase her own sexual gratification, undaunted by the idea that men are the only ones who get to finish.
I love the boldness of this main character. She is on an upward climb from the moment she arrives on scene, and she never allows the truth to slip by her bosses and higher-ups. If she thinks they can do something better in the banking business, she’ll say it and probably get it right. I always enjoy when main characters are experts at something, and Hannah is no different. It seems that everything she touches will turn into banking gold, just so long as it isn’t about pots and pans.
Another thing this novel does right is that it weaves us enticingly through a complicated marriage. Hannah marries a designer named Connor, and they are ostensibly a good match—emotionally, mentally, passionately—but there are more cracks beneath the surface than we could have envisioned. With her drive toward corporate success and his selfishness, they skate through their lives parallel to one another, rarely intersecting, and allowing for drama and eventually infidelity to sneak its way into their relationship.
There are a few things in the novel that don’t quite flourish too. Plot points can be rushed in order to achieve surprises and twists. They are definitely surprises, particularly what is done with Hannah’s son Sean, but at times it feels like they happen so quickly that they may not have belonged in the novel at all. They surely don’t add tension the way that they could because of a lack of development. There’s also a ton of financial jargon in here, where pages at a time are about improving the bank but not necessarily adding value to the narrative.
Focus in on all the good that Mrs. Banker does, and you’ll get to meet a feisty woman taking over a setting that does not cater to her in the least. If you’re in the mood for some corporate success and a handful of sexy scenes, you might have just met your match with Mrs. Banker.
Genre: General Fiction / Historical
Print Length: 146 pages
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