Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Partner Track by Helen Wan

The Partner Track: A Novel


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.
Summary & Cover taken from

Length: 304 pages (Hardcover)
Source: Review Copy
Available Formats: Print/E-book/Audio
Publication Date: September 17th 2013 by St. Martin's Press

When I got the review request for Helen Wan's Partner Track I was super excited. The book sounded like a good dramatic read and I was happy to see a contemporary novel with an Asian-American main character since I seem to only ever see Asian-American characters in historical fiction so I thought this was so refreshing.

I loved the story line in the book because I know the author herself is a lawyer I felt that it added extra substance to Ingrid's character. Since the author has experience to back up the technical parts of being a lawyer it just made everything all the more believable. I liked how this was while being a lighter read there were definite political undercurrents to the novel that I found intriguing.

The characters were very well written, but I was most impressed with her heroine Ingrid. She was smart, dedicated, strong and she was willing to put in the hard work to break out of filling a company's diversity quota. She wasn't content to sit back and be the token Asian female lawyer, oh no she wanted to prove that she had a right to be a part of the company on the basis of her work ethic.

I thought the plot line of the book was very well written. It was belivable, and we all know that the situations in the book are out there happening to real people because there are still a lot of good ol' boys out there that refuse to open up the club doors to women, as well as people who aren't white. It's a sad reality that there are still problems like this in the world but Helen Wan wrote about them in such a way that it didn't come off preachy about the inequality but wrote about it how it is.

The writing, was great. I think that Helen Wan put out an excellent debut novel and did a fantastic job in mixing elements of mystery, politics and romance all in one in The Partner Track. When I started the book I was hooked from the first page and stayed up all night reading it. The writing was fast paced, and I enjoyed the fact that there was humour in the book.

Overall, I think The Partner Track was a wonderful read and a wonderful debut by Helen Wan. Ingrid was a wonderful main character and I would absolutely love to see more of her, she was such a refreshing character I thought she was great and I'm so glad I was given the opportunity to read this novel.

I would recommend this to people who enjoy women's fiction While the book isn't a heavy read it is serious enough to not qualify as light and fluffy chick lit, but does have a lot of laughs, drama and a well written main character. If you're looking for a great well rounded novel I highly suggest picking this one up.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.

I read this book for the following reading challenges:
2013 150+ Reading Challenge

Loved it!

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  1. Thanks for the great review. I just finished reading a great political mystery/thriller this past week, "No One Can Know" by Adrienne LaCava- It takes a unique hook around a still riveting, real mystery surrounding the JFK mystery. I was so sad to see the book end, but now I am looking forward to checking out "The Partner Track."

    1. Thanks for the recommend, Ashley :-). I can't wait to check this one out, especially since it includes JFK history!

    2. You are welcome! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

  2. This sounds quite good, and I love when the author writes from her own knowledge, ie Lawyer. It makes the tale more realistic.

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