“A Fed Spirit” by Erma Clare

A Fed Spirit

Erma Clare
Muse Literary (2022)
ISBN: 978-1958714584
Reviewed by Kathy Stickles for Reader Views (03/2023)

A Fed Spirit is an insightful glimpse into the operation of the Federal Reserve Bank, told in a distinctive way by author Emma Clare. The story is a great blend of history, banking, and fiction and is creatively told through the narrator, Lucy, a ghost who was employed at the Fed and died there more than one hundred years earlier.

A Fed Spirit combines the working lives of some of the staff members in present day mixed with moments from Lucy’s past life when the Fed was just starting out. The main character of the story is Stella. She is an extremely intelligent protagonist who is honestly committed to her job and the public. Soon she finds herself working for Wendell, the new head of the Research Department. Needless to say, Wendell is a bully who thinks very highly of himself and is suspicious of anyone else who does not hold the power that he does, most especially Stella.

As the two characters begin to clash over the normal everyday issues that come up, as well as many issues that would be a part of the Federal Reserve Bank alone, Stella begins to see that Wendell is a large threat to her continuing in her career as well as being a threat to the people she works with. Lucy quickly sees the same threats and sets her mind, and hauntings, towards annoying Wendell and trying to help Stella if she can.

What follows is an excellent read that is full of interesting facts and information about who actually controls the Federal Reserve, what it does, and how to deal with a career there. Between Stella’s experiences in the present and what we learn about Lucy from the past, the pages fly by in this novel and quickly draw the reader in and keep them involved. The character of Stella is written very well. This is a strong woman that spends every moment of her time in the Research Department trying to make the place run well and trying to look out for her co-workers and friends while doing it. On the other hand, we are also shown exactly how vulnerable and unsure she can be as we see her deal with personal history, family tragedy, and her supervisors trying to make her look bad at every turn.

In addition, there is Lucy, a wonderfully written character who is telling us the whole story while being stuck there, when what she really wants is to move on and, hopefully, reunite with her husband and son in a better place. Lucy is a superb character who the reader ends up routing for and really coming to know personally. I think that is a great compliment to the author. By the time I was done, I was completely involved in Lucy’s life and wanted to see her get where she wanted to be.

A Fed Spirit is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it to all. Ms. Clare’s background with the Federal Reserve offers the reader a lot of information that is completely factual and very interesting. Her ability to weave a tale offers the reader wonderful characters and an enjoyable plot. I feel like I got the best of so many world’s with this book and I think many others, with an interest in banking or just an interest in ghosts, will as well. 5 Stars!!

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