“I read FLATBUSH PRINCESS in one explosively compelling go depriving me of a good night’s sleep! Carol Pearlman’s relentless and merciless honesty ignited in me shock, empathy and fascination.
Her razor-sharp precision of vivid and graphic details pierced and poked the story as if some defiant demon undergoing an exorcism. This is not a book for the faint-hearted!”
~Dr. John Sharpley – Singapore
“What a surprising book! What a good story! That Brooklyn princess didn’t seem to operate to her own advantage, yet she came through. The book is a page-turner, and I couldn’t put it down. The more I read, the more I wanted to know. Now I want to read her next book. She implies there’s more to come and I’m interested to know about the rich and famous people she met after this story.”
~Rima Goodman – Los Angeles CA
“Flatbush Princess is a tale of two stories, beautifully woven together, that makes for a really good read.
It is primarily an intimate personal reflection of how love, marriage, naivete, the search for financial security, and business and personal success and failure, affect 50 years of a woman’s life. But it is also a study of the rise and fall of IOS, told from the perspective of the wife of one of the key players in that story.
IOS was one of the great go-go financial companies of the 1950’s and 60’s that went-went in the early 1970’s. The chronicle of that growth and collapse was captured by three London journalists in the iconic book, “Do You Sincerely Want to be Rich?” the line used by the IOS sales force to sell mutual funds and financial products to consumers around the globe. Carol now brings an insider’s viewpoint to that story, and how IOS’s rise and fall shaped her life, her marriage, and her ultimate realization of what she really wanted out of life.
Perhaps the subtitle for her compelling autobiographical study should be, Do You Sincerely Want to be Happy?”
~Sheldon Hochberg – Washington DC
I read an early draft of this fascinating and extremely well-written memoir, and would gladly have gone on all night if there were more. In fact, it read more like a novel than a factual report, with an incredible level of detail, about 50-year-old conversations, feelings, furnishings, clothes, and all kinds of incidents. Author Carol Pearlman clearly has an incredible photographic memory, or a vivid imagination, or both.
More to the point, it is really two stories – that of the remarkable rise, and subsequent meteoric fall, of that financial colossus of the 1960s, Investors Overseas Services (IOS), and her own, as the wife of a key participant in the early success of the company.
The fall of IOS and of its founder, Bernie Cornfeld, was the biggest financial drama of the early 1970s, even if it has since been overshadowed by the Enron and Madoff scandals, among many others. It has long surprised me that so few books have been written about the rise and fall of IOS, and those that do exist are – sadly – mostly about the fall. Reading Carol’s book is the first time that I have really been able to appreciate how it grew into the financial giant that it became before the greed of a few key people (not Bernie) overcame it. This narrative will add considerably to the public’s knowledge of the IOS story, but alas at the cost of also revealing so much of the author’s own unhappy experiences.
I’m not at all sure that the average reader (whatever their interest) is going to want to see all the steamier details – in fact, anyone more interested in the IOS history is probably going to be rather put off by it. However, I may not have the same tastes as the average reader.
~David Stieber, Geneva, Switzerland