By Kellie Coates Gilbert
Published by: Revell
336 Pages

ABOUT AUTHOR: In my former career, I spent a lot of time in courtrooms working on high profile cases. People are often at their most vulnerable in these tense situations where much is at stake, and I gained a unique perspective on the human psyche.  Early in my writing career, I recognized there could be value in telling stories about women facing relationship fractures, betrayal, and loss and what it looks like to exhibit strength and dignity in these journeys.

BACK COVER: Texas socialite Claire Massey is living the dream. Her world is filled with designer clothes, luxury cars, and stunning homes. But her Neiman-Marcus lifestyle comes crashing down when her charming cattle broker husband is arrested for fraud. Suddenly, she finds herself facing attorneys, a media frenzy, and a trail of broken hearts. Betrayed and humiliated, Claire must start over against incredible odds to save her family--and discover a life worth living.

Poignant and emotionally gripping, A Woman of Fortune reveals the many ways we deceive ourselves and how resilience of the heart is essential to authentic living. Drawing on her experiences as a legal investigator, author Kellie Coates Gilbert delivers emotionally gripping plots and authentic characters. Readers will love Claire's unbending determination as she strives to keep her family from falling apart and learns to embrace the kind of fortune that lasts.

REVIEW: Thanks to The Book Club Network  for the review copy of a book that introduced me to Kelli Coates Gilbert. This novel grabbed my heart and attention from the very first sentence, “Until today, Claire Massey had never been inside the walls of a Federal Prison.”

I liked how this author started the prologue in current time and then took readers back four months to see why Claire Massey was inside a prison. It’s then you learn about how this family life was like in Texas, on how they celebrated together and what they are looking forward to doing. They are all excited about the wedding being planned for Lainie to the Governor’s son, Reece Sandell.  Love was in the air and so was Reece’s race for a seat in the Senate.

Claire took pride in hosting their annual Barbecue bash so did everyone else. Claire loved planning, decorating and making sure people had a good time. It's was an event she cherished.

All the merriment at the party stops when a Federal Agent shows up and puts handcuffs on Tuck, Claire’s husband and he's taken away. Claire and his family think this is some crazy mix-up. But Tuck knows differently. His secret it out and his family is left to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives and to be shunned by high society and crucified in the media.

“If proven true, the allegations against Tuck held the gravity of a boulder rolling out of control. Everyone in the path could potentially be mowed under the force…Her family’s world had forever changed.” Claire ponders.

Each family member takes the news in different ways, “I think our father focused on everything but his family. Sounds like he cut a lot of corners just to be rich, and we’re all going to pay the price. Especially mom…So, do you think he did it? Laine’s Brother asks her…What do you think? That's the question they are all asking each other.

Tuck gets out on bond, Claire wants answers from him. “Okay, let’s talk Tuck. Why don’t you begin by telling me what we’re going to do now? “


“Don’t baby’me. Tuck did you even stop to think about the consequences here? She shot her husband a strained look….All three of our children might as well wear scarlet Ms on their foreheads. They’ll go through life carrying the shame you thrust upon them.”

“Claire tried of her cheerleader role, trying to keep everyone rallied around a man who had walked right over a line others never dare cross. Every new layer of deceit tarnished her affection. How much more could she take before tossing down her pom-poms?”

“How could someone she loved wound her so deeply? Every lie, every betrayal sliced her soul…she’d tried her best to stand by Tuck. Tried to believe in him. What was she to think?”
Things get worse before they get better.

“Tucks decisions and choices had poisoned all of their well-being.”

How did they walk this out in what God says in his word when the world had turned their back against them. Could they really trust him to help them in this mess?

This author states in the note to readers, “In 2008, many of us watch as master financier Berone Maddoff’s story unfolded…He was a man accused of swindling thousands of innocent victims-including family and friends – out of billions of dollars in World’s largest Ponzi scheme was taken from his posh Manhattan apartment in hand-cuffs and his family became vilified in the media!

“What is it like for a wife to learn her husband is a criminal? What happens to children when they face that kind of shame?...As a novelist I wondered what would the story look like if a strong women protagonist bucked the odds and stayed in the marriage? What if the family lost their footing but in the end landed on solid ground?...I’m simply acknowledging in this story, that there are no pat answers in any situation.”

I know I’ve seen this in the media where a man is accused of whatever and you watch the face of the wife standing beside her man. Crushed, and humiliated on public T.V. for the world to see  over and over again. This author takes us behind the curtain, up-close and personal to see how a family reacts to their father’s deceit. Their faith is put to the test. Can they walk in what God tells them to do? Or do they just let their emotions run their lives and seek revenge no matter the cost? I was hooked. I couldn't put this story down. It was raw, real and thought provoking! I highly recommend this for a powerful read and/or your next book club pick. There are great discussion questions in the back of the book that will be the match to ignite lively conversation in this book and the characters. This is the first book I’ve read by this author it won’t be the last.  

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!


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