‘I want to quit my life,’ I told my therapist. ‘But I promised him five to ten years. I’ll feel like a total hypocrite if I break my word.’ ‘You made that promise,’ she said, ‘with all the information available to you then. And now you have new information. You are allowed to change your mind.’

Page 285

In a nutshell


Private Equity is a memoir written by Carrie Sun who was born to Chinese immigrant parents. An overachiever, she got into and graduated from an Ivy League college before starting a career in finance. Eventually she realised that what she really wanted to be was a writer and so she quit her job in finance and moved to New York where she got the highly coveted role of assistant to the founder of one of the most successful private equity firms on Wall Street. It was a job she thought would fund her life while she focused on writing. However, as she became a founder’s sole assistant and right hand, Carrie barely had time to “breathe” much less write. In her diary-like memoir she details her life on Wall Street and how she found the courage to break free. 

Book Club Notes


Do you ever read a book and as you close the final page, open up Google to search for more information about the story you just read? I did that when I finished Private Equity – wanting to know who her boss was and where she is now. She writes so openly, you feel like you know her and want the best for her.

It is a brilliant and moving memoir that is more than a story about an overworked burnt out Wall Street assistant. Carrie’s story speaks to our current work culture fuelled by instant gratification where everything is an emergency that must be dealt with now, employees expected to be available at all hours and performing at peak constantly with no rest or chance to recharge.

While Carrie’s situation may be extreme, elements of her story and struggle are relatable to nearly everyone working to earn a living – you don’t just empathise with her, you relate. It highlights the push-pull of wanting to achieve but not wrecking yourself on the way to success, of loving your job but wanting to live outside of it.

Reading it highlighted to me the importance of carving time for yourself to nourish your body, mind and relationships away from work. You can love your work and be a good worker without giving your life to work. At one point Carrie writes “I remember having this thought: we can in fact afford to slow down – I felt that, there are times to go fast and times to slow down and more often than not it is ok to slow down and not react to a world throwing things at you.”

Read If


You feel overworked or struggle to find work-life balance – Private Equity will make you rethink your priorities. Also a great read for anyone interested in the lives of Wall Street workers and big money – this book takes you smack bang into the centre of that Kingdom.

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Readability – 10 /10
Writing – 10/10
Likeability – 10/10
Purpose – 10/10
Shareability – 10/10
10.0Overall Score

The Nitty Gritty


Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing, distributed by Jonathon Ball

Genre: Non-Fiction, Business, Biography

ISBN: 978-1-5266-3472-6

Pages: 334

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A note on our book ratings

Readability: How easy is it to read what the author is saying? 

Writing: How well written is the book? Do you find yourself wowed by the writing or unimpressed?

Likeability: Are the characters likeable, relatable, imparting something of value?

Purpose: Is there a clear purpose to the story being shared or is it better suited as a personal project for a family keepsake?

Shareability: How likely are you to share the book?

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