We Need to Talk: A Memoir About Wealth examines the hidden impact of wealth on identity, relationships, and sense of place in the world. At a time when income inequality is a huge problem and money is a taboo subject even among those closest to us, We Need to Talk aims to start a conversation that demystifies wealth.
... amid an entirely new landscape, [Richner's candid look at money] makes her book perhaps even more uncomfortable, but all the more necessary during what has been an economically devastating year for many Americans ... much of the book revolves around Risher’s largely quotidian anxieties as she struggles to come to terms with her growing riches. Breaking the silence around money, big and small, she says, can help build a more equitable country.
Risher’s aim is to start an honest conversation about a taboo topic — to 'demystify wealth.' She’s cognizant that hers is just one of many perspectives, and she hopes others will add their viewpoints to the larger conversation ... I read Risher’s memoir in about a day, fascinated by the jaw-dropping dilemmas and questions she faces that most of us won’t ever have to consider. 'Spoiling' her kids, for example, takes on new meaning when she and David decide not to take private jets to Hawaii and 'only' fly first class instead. And, of course, there’s plenty that money can’t buy. As prosperous as she and her family are, they aren’t spared great pain, which she writes about in moving detail ... while I’m glad she’s using her experience to uncover some of the mysteries surrounding wealth and privilege, Risher’s story left me wanting to learn from perspectives other than white, middle-class, and cisgender. I appreciated her invitation for more people to join this ongoing conversation.
...Through frank revelations about money and 'how it makes us feel,' Risher hopes to 'break down divides.' ... As timely as these questions [about changing the status quo around wealth] may be, regrettably, they are not discussed in this book ... Considering the memoir on its own terms, Risher’s sincere aim is to show that the super-wealthy aren’t that different from the rest of us, and that wealth can’t eliminate all of an individual’s 'worries, insecurities, and limitations.' ... Considering the book within the current political, economic and environmental context—which, given the pivotal nature of the present moment to the future of our species, seems appropriate, particularly if Risher’s stated aim is catalyze uncomfortable conversations about wealth—it’s worth asking what she brings to the debates convulsing every corner of the world.