In George's novel The A Circuit, Rick Aaronson is a Wall Street billionaire who “owns half of New York.” His older daughter Callie is an Ivy League graduate with a passion for politics, and his younger daughter Thomasina -- or Tommi for short -- is a professional horse jumper.
Naturally Tommi is a sympathetic character. She agonizes over her career choice. Why can't her father accept it? She's an award-winning equestrian, for God's sake.
Well, we don't know about Tommi, but George owns six show horses, though they can apparently cost hundreds of thousands of dollars each. Plus, she has a Nolita penthouse, a 26-acre "weekend estate" in North Salem, N.Y., another "estate" in a horse-themed development in Palm Beach, Florida, and a "waterfront home" in Bermuda. She has to be wildly successful, then, considering that Wikipedia says "the biggest show jumping, cutting and reining competitions may offer purse money into the low five figures." According to my admittedly fuzzy math, George must have bagged a top purse every day of every week since she started third grade.
In addition to being incredibly successful, her book's alter ego has guts.
She wasn’t afraid to say no to her father, even if half of Wall Street was.
Those guys look even more cowardly when you realize that they didn't even have the nerve to call him "Daddy."
While somehow enduring a father who's only emotionally and financially supportive, the lass faces pure hell from the supercilious upper class.
Tommi walks past a group of fellow riders in the catty Westchester horse show circuit, who stare at her in riveted recognition. “Tommi didn’t remember their names, but she guessed that they probably knew hers. That was the trouble with being in her family. Everyone knew who you were whether you liked it or not.”
Now, I don't really get this bit, because if everybody knew my dad was a powerful billionaire, I'm pretty sure I'd "like it." The only "or not" would turn up is if I stole Abba Zabba bars from 7-Eleven. But I can totally sympathize with Tommi here, seeing people she's met but doesn't remember and somehow resisting the urge to shout, "Hey, who the fuck are you?"
After a particularly rough riding session, a fellow rider torments her with a crack about “Daddy’s money.” Tommi is crushed. “It never got any easier to take,” she thinks to herself.
Those scenes were borrowed from her own life, Ms. Bloomberg said. “I see myself a lot in that,” she said. “When I was growing up, I got a lot of, ‘Oh, well, she bought the nicest horse, so of course she’s going to win.’ And I dealt with a lot of that.”
And how about in eighth grade? Everybody just about freaked out when she won the Science Fair even though Stephen J. Hawking just barely helped her.
A lesser writer might simply have asked, "Why can't dad give me a million every few months without telling me what to do?" A lesser writer might have offered something substantially less artful:
Tommi's dad was rich and he gave her piles of money so she'd be stupid if she complained.
Really, really stupid.
Instead, we fly alongside our loquacious authoress as she jets off to Bermuda rather than endure what would surely be a tedious book tour. She told a filmmaker that “having the last name Bloomberg sucks," and she's ably gotten her point across. I think we'd all probably say the same thing, except since our last name isn't Bloomberg, we'd just say it to the dog.