Book Review: The Partner Track by Helen Wan

Reviewer: Allie

the partner trackI received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Ingrid Yung is an Asian American woman who’s living her immigrant parents’ American dream.  She graduated top of her class from Yale, and then followed up with a law degree from Columbia.  Right after graduation she’s hired by the world renowned law firm, Parsons Valentine.  For the last eight years she’s literally slaved away in her quest for partnership.  In addition to her credentials and dedication, Ingrid is also a “twofer.”   With Ingrid on staff, the firm can check two boxes in the diversity column because she’s Asian American and a woman – the only woman left from her freshman class of colleagues.  Ingrid has mixed feelings about this.  Several of her coworkers think this makes her a shoe-in for partner, because she’d be the first woman or minority whom the firm has ever made partner.  Times are changing and the firm may need those bragging rights.  Understandably, Ingrid wants to get there based on merit and hard work.

The old ways don’t necessarily die off, just because a man of color has made it to the White House.  After an incident at Parson Valentine’s annual summer outing casts an ugly light on the firm’s practices and attitudes about diversity, Ingrid finds herself caught in the crossfire.  The firm wants to take advantage of her “twofer” status to save its reputation, but Ingrid doesn’t care to be marched around as their diversity show dog.  All this is happening while she’s working to close an incredibly high-profile deal that should secure her partnership.  Complicating matters further are incidents of professional sabotage and a clandestine office romance.  Can she remain unscathed while reaching for the partnership pie in the sky?

This book was fun and fast paced and all about girl power!  I loved the inside scoop of life in a big city law firm.  The author, a lawyer and an Asian American woman, insists that the story isn’t autobiographical.  I believe her, because I imagine there would be a case for slander here, with all the juicy tidbits throughout the book.  Having once worked at a nationally, well known corporation and faced the boys’ club myself, I was intrigued by the story.  The writing is excellent, although there is considerable legal jargon and discussion of industry practices, which I fear might lose some readers.  Hang in there, because the plot keeps you guessing and the ending is reminiscent of the movie Working Girl.  I was so excited reading the climax scenes that I was pumping my fist in the air, chanting “You Go Girl!”

5 Stars


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  1. Kelly
    September 20, 2013 / 9:32 pm

    Sounds like a good book…I love the honesty of the boys club…and go girl ending.

  2. Samantha
    September 22, 2013 / 6:35 pm

    Thanks for stopping by Kelly!

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