In Jeanne Tompkins’ epic novel, drama unfolds across the pond as scandal erupts in the world of finance and threatens to destroy a couple’s romantic destiny.
Georgina Bailey is a smart, confident young woman rising in the financial world. After a literal run-in with handsome colleague James Munroe, financial director at Wallace Bros., a promising romance ensues. Things change, however, when James rejects the company’s involvement with an unscrupulous NY investor. When unexpected headlines detail a sell-out and resignation, James wrongly accuses Georgina of the leak. Forging ahead on separate continents, each makes their mark, but longs for their missed opportunity. While the ill-intentions of some conspire to keep them apart, others will do their best to reconnect this amorous couple.
In this two-part saga, Tompkins presents a multi-faceted story line driven by a variety of complex and intertwining characters, ranging from the likes of underhanded businessmen like Walter Weinberg, whose actions ignite cloak-and-dagger responses from associates, to Georgina’s bright, sensitive son, Alex, who embodies all the goodness at the story’s heart. The author even uses Appleyards, a beautiful estate housing an exclusive monetary recovery agency, as a comforting “character” that proves an oasis for both business and family opportunities.
Tompkins is adept at weaving a colorful tapestry of UK culture. From a weekend in historic Cotswold, to the traditions of afternoon tea, to commentary on Georgina’s beauty as a “a right Bobby Dazzler,” such details are sure to please Anglophiles.
Perhaps less pleasing is Tompkins’ tendency to recap plot points through repetitious character meetings and conversations. While sometimes beneficial in a voluminous read, it often seems unnecessary here. There are also some typographical errors, although at times a dropped or misplaced word merely reflect the Brit dialect.
Despite the novel’s flaws, those drawn to hefty tomes blending components of a modern day financial realm with narrative pertaining to love, family, and life’s second chances will find Big Boys Don’t Cry a satisfying read overall.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.