Money, A Memoir: Women, Emotions, and Cash

Liz Perle

Henry Holt,  February 2006

Do you know more about your best friend's sex life than her financial one?

Long ago, and not entirely consciously, Liz Perle made a quiet contract with cash: She would do what it took to get it -- work hard, marry right -- but she didn't want to have to think about it too much. Ever since she was a young girl, the subject of money had been quietly sidestepped, a shadowy factor whose importance was downplayed and deemed impolite to discuss. This deliberate denial eventually exacted its price, however, when a sudden reversal of fortunes left Perle with no home, no job, a four-year-old, and a box of toys. She realized she could no longer afford to leave her murky and fraught relationship with money unexamined.

What Perle discovered as she reassembled her life, both personally and professionally, was that almost every woman she knew shared her ambivalent feelings about money -- even as it influenced their relationships with their parents, lovers, husbands, children, friends, coworkers, and communities. They also subscribed to a self-defeating code of discretion, which exacted its own price in wages, independence, and opportunity.

In Money, A Memoir, Perle attempts to break through this silence, adding her own story to the anecdotes and insights of psychologists, researchers, and more than two hundred ordinary women. It turned out that when money was the topic, most women needed permission to talk. When she confessed her fears and idiosyncrasies to other women, Perle found, theirs came tumbling out as well. The result is an insightful, unflinching look at the at once subtle and commanding influence of money on our every relationship.

hardcover | ISBN: 9780805077124 | Publication Date: February 2006

"In Money, A Memoir, Liz Perle offers a straightforward and deeply personal account of what it takes for women to reclaim their financial and emotional freedom."
--Cheryl Richardson, author of Take Time for Your Life

"Change is in the air. Someone finally has the courage to be straight about women's emotional struggles with money. Every woman who reads this touching, smart and true book will come away with more insight into one of the most important relationships in her life -- the one between her and her pocketbook."
--Debbie Ford, author of The Dark Side of the Light Chasers and The Best Year of Your Life

"A smart, funny, insightful book on women and money. Liz Perle writes with love and enthusiasm about this essential topic."
--Judith Orloff, M.D., author of Positive Energy

"This wonderful book shines a spotlight on the ambivalence women have about all things financial -- we love nice things but feel guilty if we have them and resentful if we don't. I'm making it required reading for all my clients -- men and women!"
--Chellie Campbell, author of The Wealthy Spirit and From Zero to Zillionaire

"This deceptively powerful book is a must-read for any woman who really wants to be in control of her life. It's written with humor and hard-won wisdom, and I hope it inspires women to really look honestly at their relationship to money. It's an examination that's long overdue."
--Arianna Huffington, editor of

"If you want to understand many women's complex and contradictory attitudes about money, take out your wallet and buy Liz Perle's very personal and very honest look at the subject in Money, A Memoir."
--Myrna Blyth, former editor in chief of Ladies Home Journal and author of Spin Sisters

"Part autobiography, part social science study, Money, A Memoir is an intelligent, reader-friendly book that couldn't be more timely."
--Marilyn Yalom, author of A History of the Wife and Birth of the Chess Queen