I received a review copy
What can rock your world faster than winning or losing a king’s ransom overnight?
Just as a huge financial scandal throws New Yorker, Olivia Wheeler, from wealth and success to bankruptcy and shame, struggling impoverished single-mother Rosie Dixon wins an unexpected million pounds. Good luck? Bad luck? Who can tell? Both women have more in common than they realize. While Olivia struggles to survive her humiliations, fleeing broke and homeless to London, shy unassuming Rosie discovers sudden riches arrive with their own mega-load of problems.
Can workaholic career-obsessed Olivia find a passion for something earthier and warmer than power and prestige? And can Rosie sift through envy and greed to discover true friends, true family and even true love?
Two strangers who’ve never met. Yet neither realizes how each is affecting the other’s destiny or the places their paths touch and fates entwine.
How will they surmount the pitfalls and perils of their outrageous change of fortune?
That is the million dollar question.
The million-dollar question. Are those who win the lottery better off or does all that money make your life more difficult? Are those who are poor at their core happier than those who are rich? Does money bring more problems than the lack?
The Million Dollar Question asks all these and a million more. This novel by Lorraine Campbell and Pam Burks, under the pseudonym Ellie Campbell, tells the story of two women on either side of the issue. In America, golden child, rich, Olivia Wheeler, hedge fund manager, has just had the shock of her life. Her supervisor has absconded with millions of their client’s money, leaving her and the rest of the company holding the bag. With her loss of funds she finds herself losing everything else in her life. Flat broke, no boyfriend, no job prospects, etc.; Olivia returns to her hometown of London. There she finds herself in a position completely foreign to her; poor, having to work menial jobs, living in a shoddy apartment, etc.
Meanwhile, divorced, mother of two, barely squeaking by, Londoner Rosie Dixon has just won a million pounds. She is surprised with the money, and soon discovers that it comes with a lot issues she had never thought of. She quickly finds everyone either kissing up and begging for money or resenting her riches and treating her cruelly. Rosie finds herself trying to balance her compassion with good sense.
The two’s stories interact when Olivia gets a job working on a documentary about money; having it, earning it, winning it, losing it, etc.; and how that changes their lives. She and her employer believe that Rosie will be perfect for the documentary the perfect compliment to Olivia’s story. They discover a stronger connection, as when Olivia tries to sell the only thing she has left, a villa in Spain, she comes upon a secret that will bring the two closer than they ever would have ever imagined.
I had mixed feelings about this novel. I enjoyed the Olivia Wheeler storyline as I felt the authors were very realistic in their portrayal of how hard it is to pick up your life after everything you had has fallen apart. I also like the crazy characters she meets up with and the way she finds herself floundering a bit, but eventually taking control of her life. The Rosie storyline I didn’t care for as much as Rosie seemed too saintly and perfect. Her storyline was also boring as it was the same thing done a million times before: someone winning money, giving it away and being taken advantage of, and finally getting a backbone and the ability to stand up for herself. This left Rosie quite bland in comparison to the feisty and fiery Olivia.
In the end I would give this book three out of five stars as I enjoyed the Olivia half, but felt the Rosie one could have been more developed.