Imagine inheriting a huge sum of money from someone you barely knew, more money, in fact, than you could ever spend in your lifetime. Such is the fate of Augusta, the main character of Love and Money, the witty and engaging new novel by noted feminist author Edith Konecky. Augusta, an electronic music composer and adjunct professor at City College, is removed from her noble poverty and thrown head first into a foreign world which includes her own Upper East Side townhouse, a large yacht, and a world cruise that traces the fateful final voyage of the man who is her benefactor.
Along the way, the reader meets her cavorting father, her eccentrically scientific best friend Camilla, and some mysterious staff on the yacht and in the townhouse. Underlying the playful story with its hilarious one-liners, though, is a reflection on the hidden fantasies of women, even strong feminists like Augusta and Camilla. "Uncle Freddy," the friend of Augusta's father who has bequeathed his fortune to Augusta, is the ideal lover. Completely generous, brilliant, powerful, and eloquent in his posthumous letters to Augusta, he embodies perhaps the the secret fantasies of women, including feminists and men, too, for a powerful and giving lover. Ironically, in the end, Augusta is not the only one to find this fantasy lover. Her rakish father Marco, too, unexpectedly finds true love in a powerful and giving woman.
So, perhaps the moral of Konecky's romping tale of riches and adventure is that the seemingly unfeminist fantasy of the powerful, rich, older man to transform one's life, is not so unfeminist at heart. After all, men need powerful lovers, too.