Reviewed by Stacy Wentworth
Jamie Fiore Higgins’ Bully Market introduces us to a world only accessible to the public from a distance as we strain our necks to gaze up at New York City’s venerated financial institutions. Higgins unceremoniously throws open the doors of Wall Street’s most notorious firm and invites us to feast our eyes on the crude debauchery and ruthless competition within. Toxic masculinity supported by obscene amounts of money oozes out of glass enclosed conference rooms, infecting all who agree to leave their morality outside. “Win at all costs” takes on new meaning as Higgins describes sexual harassment, Ivy League nepotism, and her eventual acceptance into this bizarre world as she ascends the thorny corporate ladder at Goldman Sachs, a place she clearly hates to love.
Pulling down six-figure bonuses and experiencing the high-flying life of New York’s elite, she shows us her struggle to fulfill the dreams of her immigrant parents while slowly losing her grip on what is important. Wound into this dark tale are the birth of her children, marital tension, and a raw description of her miscarriage in an office bathroom stall. While Higgins lays bare the actions of herself and her coworkers, her gimlet eye avoids looking inward to process why she stayed. This omission prevents those of us who have stayed too long in our own bad situations from connecting, rather than recoiling, from her experience. She provides her readers a seat at the show but leaves us handling the salaciousness alone. With any luck, this talented woman will sit down with us in her next book and reveal more about herself rather than just sharing her transgressions.
Stacy Wentworth is a practicing physician in North Carolina. Her writing has been featured in numerous scientific publications. She is working on her first book.