Friday, June 10, 2011
Lost and Found
Publisher's Summary. LOST AND FOUND is a dazzling, provocative and in fact radical template for liberating ourselves from old patterns, and transforming how we feel and behave about the precious resources that should, and ultimately can, sustain and support our lives. If it seems impossible to read a funny, brilliant, irresistible book about money that you can't put down, turn to the first page of Lost and Found.
Review.On December 10, 2008, author Geneen Roth and her husband had a comfy million dollar nest egg. No trust fund babies, Roth and her husband had acquired this substantial sum through over three decades of hard work including writing books, leading workshops, and giving speeches. On December 11, 2008, however, Roth and her husband were broke –just another one of the hapless Madoff victims.
In Lost and Found Roth analyzes her relationship with and beliefs about money. Roth confesses, “my relationship to money was no different from my relationship to food, to love, to fabulous sweaters. Because I was never aware of what I already had, I never felt as if I had enough. I was always focused on [what] . . . was to come . . . .” From this 20/20 vantage point she explores how her money “hang -ups” led her to investing in the largest Ponzi scheme in history. Roth wanted to believe that she was special (don’t we all?) with a paternalistic Madoff (who shared the same name as her late father) looking out for her hard earned dollars. After losing almost everything she had, a poorer, but wiser Roth embarks on a new course with her future earnings (which according to Roth are rebounding) of responsibility and awareness.
What I really liked about Lost and Found is that Roth did what so few of the Madoff victims have done (remember the Park Avenue bad lady Alexandra Penney?): acknowledge her part in the fiasco of not paying attention to how her money was managed. To be clear, Roth does not forgive Madoff or otherwise absolve him of blame, but she does admit to having her head in the sand when it came to her finances which enabled Madoff to steal her lifesavings. She also gives a hard number (a million dollars) so that the reader can appreciate the enormity of her loss.
Lost and Found is not your typical money memoir, because Roth while on the comeback trail does not have it all together, but this makes it better!
Review based on a library copy.