October 26, 2013

Review: The Partner Track by Helen Wan

The Partner Track

Author: Helen Wan
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Description:

A young attorney must choose between the prestige of partnership and  the American Dream that she—and her immigrant parents—have come so close to achieving in this riveting debut

In the eyes of her corporate law firm, Ingrid Yung is a “two-fer.” As a Chinese-American woman about to be ushered into the elite rank of partner, she’s the face of Parsons Valentine & Hunt LLP’s recruiting brochures--their treasured "Golden Girl." But behind the firm’s welcoming fa├žade lies the scotch-sipping, cigar-smoking old-boy network that shuts out lawyers like Ingrid. To compensate, Ingrid gamely plays in the softball league, schmoozes in the corporate cafeteria, and puts in the billable hours—until a horrifically offensive performance at the law firm’s annual summer outing throws the carefully constructed image way out of equilibrium.Scrambling to do damage control, Parsons Valentine announces a new “Diversity Initiative” and commands a reluctant Ingrid to spearhead the effort, taking her priority away from the enormous deal that was to be the final step in securing partnership. For the first time, Ingrid finds herself at odds with her colleagues—including her handsome, golden-boy boyfriend—in a clash of class, race, and sexual politics.
  



The Partner Track is a smart adult contemporary novel that follows leading lady Ingrid Yung as she desperately attempts to ratchet up her career at the prestigious law firm of Parsons Valentine & Hunt LLP. Ingrid's been the picture perfect girl for the firm - doing extracurricular activities with coworkers, works extra hours, and sweet talks the big wigs. Everything's going great until a fateful summer outing where Ingrid shatters her "Golden Girl" image. Willing to do almost anything to get it back, she agrees to become the new face and leader of the Diversity Initiative for the firm. Soon Ingrid finds herself at odds with her coworkers, her boyfriend, her family and even herself as she battles it out in a war of gender, class, and race.

This was an intriguing adult contemporary novel that spoke of several important topics amid the quick story line. Ingrid is a great main character. She's smart, dedicated, and motivated to reach her dream goal of becoming a partner in her firm. She does what most would do in her situation by gaining the image of the perfect employee and "golden girl" of the company. Everyone makes mistakes though and Ingrid is no different. I liked that we get to see all aspects of her character - both positive and negative - as we watch her attempt to get her life back on track. The plot was interesting and held a lot of great details concerning Ingrid's life, her job, and her firm. The writing was well done with vivid descriptions and a great pace that keeps the reader engaged throughout the novel. Although the story comes off as just another contemporary fiction, it really deals with difficult topics in our society that most people don't want to go into - race, class, gender, and the prejudices that go along with them all. Recommended for fans of contemporary fiction and those who enjoy a dramatic novel that deals with tough subjects.





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