Hanover Place by Michael M. Thomas

Hanover Place

In his four previous novels, Michael M. Thomas has written about the world of Wall Street and high society with the knowledgeability of Tom Wolfe and Dominick Dunne—and revealed that world’s inner workings with the aplomb of John O’Hara and Louis Auchincloss. Now, in Hanover Place, Thomas paints his broadest canvas yet.

Covering seven decades of depression, triumph, war, and tragedy, from the roaring, gilded 1920s to the projected chaos of the 1990s, Hanover Place is a saga of “The Firm,” Warrington & Co., a great house of finance whose influence spreads far beyond Wall Street. And it is the story of the two families—one WASP, one Jewish—who dominate that firm.

First come the Warringtons, whose proud name has graced Wall Street and New York society since the 1800s. There’s Fletcher, the patriarch, and his son, Howland, whose 1924 marriage to Lyda opens the book. The dynasty continues with their children: Lex and Dee, the glamorous twins and heirs-apparent to Hanover Place; Andrew, reflective and decent, unsure about his Wall Street destiny; Jay, volatile and intuitive, a born trader; and Miranda, conceived in a moment of indiscretion, whose personality is dark and dangerous.

Then there is the Miles family: Morris, plucked, at Lyda Warrington’s instigation, from the ignominy of “the cage” to triumph over anti-Semitism and become one of the great men of the Street; his wife, Miriam, fiercely protective of her children and ambitious for them; Max, their son, who believes the world should be his for the asking; and Arthur Lubloff, their grandson, who will emerge as the most influential and legendary financier since Pierpont Morgan himself. Sharing the stage with them all is a rich supporting cast of wives and lovers, heroes and knaves, fools and charlatans, great men and parasites.

Hanover Place is not a conventional family epic. Frankly and without pulling punches, it depicts the world of high finance and high society as it was, as it is, and as it may well turn out to be. Its people move through history, now caught up in the great events of our time, now involved with the intimate dramas of passion, rivalry, and prejudice.

And always in the background, humming with a million schemes and dreams, is the great city of New York—and, at its beating concrete heart, Wall Street itself.