The Partner Track by Helen Wan

The Partner Track by Helen Wan
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mainstream Fiction
Length: Full Length (304 pgs)
Rated: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Snapdragon

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 façade 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.

A life according to plan – right up until the corporate sabotage that is. The Partner Track focuses on Ingrid Yung, an ambitious young lawyer with firm goals and highly professional skill. She’s on her way to a partnership… or she thinks she is. She’s sure Parsons Valentine & Hunt LLP is a fantastic firm to work for. She does her time, pays her dues. Friendships and family come a distant second; she’s even being careful of who she dates. However, when it comes right down to it, will she make partner?

We do wonder if this is one of those old-boy corporations where the glass ceiling is practically invisible, but oh-so-there. The firm is a bit stereotypical, but believable. If Ingrid navigates her way to the top carefully, it would be fair to say the firm treats her a bit carefully, too. And the true bad guy is a bit of a sleeper; he’ll surprise you. He sure blindsides Ingrid.

Corporate politics aren’t really the center of this story- Ingrid trying to get a fair shake and getting even are what will hold the reader enthralled. Wan’s is an un-intrusive writing style notable for believable conversations and for every thought or incident moving the plot forward.

The story is gripping and I read this in one sitting: slick and engaging, do add to your reading list.

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