Doug Fanning lives an apparently gilded existence. A Gulf war veteran turned banker at the vast investment bank Union Atlantic, he is wealthy, handsome and powerful - the epitome of Wall Street success. Charlotte Graves lives in self-imposed exile deep in the forests of rural Massachusetts, stubbornly refusing to engage with a country she feels to ...Read MoreDoug Fanning lives an apparently gilded existence. A Gulf war veteran turned banker at the vast investment bank Union Atlantic, he is wealthy, handsome and powerful - the epitome of Wall Street success. Charlotte Graves lives in self-imposed exile deep in the forests of rural Massachusetts, stubbornly refusing to engage with a country she feels to be in morally bankrupt. When Fanning decides to build himself a sprawling mansion adjacent to her home, her isolation is threatened and she determines to evict him from his land and, if she can, his kind from her country. Union Atlantic is a deeply involving novel of the modern world - a world in crisis, where individual humanity is pitted against the global marketplace, and we must decide what, in the end, we value most highly.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2009-12-21 In Haslett's excellent first novel (following Pulitzer and National Book Award finalist short story collection You Are Not a Stranger Here), a titan of the banking industry does battle with a surprisingly formidable opponent: a retired history teacher. Doug Fanning has built Union Atlantic from a mid-size Boston bank to an international powerhouse and rewards himself by building a rural palace in Finden, Mass. The land his house is built on, however, had been donated to Finden for preservation by Charlotte Graves's grandfather, and Charlotte believes she now has a claim on the lot. She may be right, and her disdain of modern decadence means bad news for Doug should she win in court. Meanwhile, high school senior Nate Fuller, who visits Charlotte for tutoring and Doug for awkward and lopsided sexual encounters, finds himself with the power to upset the legal and cultural war game. Haslett's novel is smart and carefully constructed, and his characters are brilliantly flawed. (Charlotte's emerging instability is especially heartbreaking.) This book should be of interest to readers fascinated but perplexed by the current financial crisis, as it is able to navigate the oubliette of Wall Street trading to create searing and intimate drama. (Jan.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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