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Book Club Discussion Questions for Money Grab

  1. After Robbie and Rolfe’s son Jason is born, the responsibility for childcare falls primarily on Robbie. When she falls asleep at work, her boss Shep Fairburn tells her she has to step up her game and get her personal life under control. As a result she hires a night nanny, a weekend nanny and a housekeeper so both she and Rolfe can continue with their jobs. How do you feel about Shep, Robbie and Rolfe in this situation? Do husbands usually take a more active role in childcare than Rolfe did, or is his delegation of childcare responsibility to his wife typical? How do bosses react to women with children versus men with children as far as work performance expectations and promotion opportunities?
  2. Charlton Madison thought the firm was wasting money by hiring female advisors, because he believed they would get pregnant and quit their jobs. How do his attitudes compare with those you have found in the workplace? Is his opinion justified?
  3. Charlton said men want men to manage their money, women want men to manage their money, and nobody wants an hysterical female at the controls. Do you agree with his statement? Is it more difficult for a woman to compete in a traditionally male job? What strategies have you seen women use to be successful in a male-dominated field?
  4. Vivian Sutherland uses all the tools available to her to succeed on the job, including her physical appearance and her sex appeal. How do her coworkers respond to this strategy? Her clients? Are women more likely to use physical attractiveness to succeed at the job? Would a man who did this be perceived differently than Vivian was? How does Vivian’s use of her sex appeal compare to Nate’s?
  5. Vivian and Everett Sutherland had a bitter divorce, but Everett believed there was a chance they could get back together. Considering what you know about their relationship, do you agree with him? Are divorced couples that you know able to maintain an amiable relationship? Do they ever get back together?
  6. Robbie and Fontaine have been best friends ever since college. After Robbie is attacked, Fontaine travels with her to St. Martin to escape the killer. She also encourages Robbie to open her own investment business. Do you feel the two of them will be successful with their new company? What examples do you have of when you relied on a friend to help you solve a professional or personal problem?
  7. The charm bracelet in the novel was used to help you learn more about the relationship between Robbie and Rolfe. It was a physical reminder for Robbie of the good memories she had of Rolfe and Jason. Once the bracelet was stolen, she was afraid that she would gradually lose those memories. What items in your life have you used to help you remember people or events from your past? If these items were taken away, could you still maintain the memories?
  8. Robbie disregards her own advice when she buys a house so soon after her family’s death. The house becomes a symbol of her own situation:  she said the house had had its heart ripped out and so had she, so maybe they could heal each other. How are both she and the house repaired by the end of the novel? What projects or activities have you used to help you get through difficult times in your own life?
  9. Even after the first floor of Robbie’s new house is developed for her new business, the second floor remains empty. As she moves forward, is it more likely that she uses the second floor to expand Hastings Bay Capital (such as by adding additional office space) or for her personal life (adding bedrooms for future children)?
  10. Many characters in the novel struggle to adapt to change. Which of the characters do you feel will be most successful in adapting to the changes in their lives? How have you dealt with change in your own life? Have you been more successful than some of the characters in the novel?
  11. Robbie’s job as a financial advisor provides structure and backdrop for the novel. She discusses issues such as stock valuation, asset allocation, diversification, and indicators for when an investor should buy or sell a stock. Which of these ideas can be helpful to you in your own investing?

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