• The Partner Track

  • A Novel
  • By: Helen Wan
  • Narrated by: Catherine Ho
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (91 ratings)

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The Partner Track

By: Helen Wan
Narrated by: Catherine Ho
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Publisher's Summary

In Helen Wan's riveting debut, The Partner Track, 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.

Ingrid Yung's life is full of firsts. A first-generation Chinese American, the first lawyer in her family, she's about to collect the holy grail of "firsts" and become the first minority woman to make partner at the venerable old law firm Parsons Valentine & Hunt. 

Ingrid has perfected the art of "passing" and seamlessly blends into the old-boy corporate culture. She gamely banters in the corporate cafeteria, plays in the firm softball league, and earnestly racks up her billable hours. But when an offensive incident at the summer outing threatens the firm's reputation, Ingrid's outsider status is suddenly thrown into sharp relief. Scrambling to do damage control, Parsons Valentine announces a new Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, commanding Ingrid to spearhead the effort. Only she's about to close an enormous transaction that was to be her final step in securing partnership.

For the first time, Ingrid must question her place in the firm. Pitted against her colleagues, including her golden-boy boyfriend, Ingrid begins to wonder whether the prestige of partnership is worth breaching her ethics. But can she risk throwing away the American dream that is finally within her reach?

©2013 Helen Wan (P)2022 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

“Engaging and suspenseful . . . She dissects the tokens of status in this world in a manner that's reminiscent of Tom Wolfe.” —Wall Street Journal

“Wan succeeds in exploring and fictionalizing the timely topics of sexism and racism in workplace politics in a fluent, thought-provoking, and compelling tale.” —Booklist 

“Wan has written a sensitive story of discrimination faced in ‘old boy' law firms in particular but also in the world in general . . . intriguing and entertaining. This reviewer is looking to Wan's next novel.” —Library Journal  

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What listeners say about The Partner Track

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Far more realistic than the Show

As someone in Big Law, I found this far more realistic than the show, and just as entertaining. The narrator does an exquisite job.

4 people found this helpful

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The narrator was spot on fantastic!!

I loved this and could not stop listening to it . Tackled heavy topics in a fresh way that really helped me have a greater understanding.

2 people found this helpful

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Finished it in day!

Sitting at my desk one block over from 30 Rock in tears. Helen’s characters truly encompass the complexity of working in the city while navigating hostile workspaces.

1 person found this helpful

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Lured in by the show (Netflix)

While this story was truly enjoyed, I started upon it via recommendation to watch the show on Netflix.

And though the show started a bit stiffly, by the end of the binge-watched first (and only) season, I was hooked.

Thus, when I saw it was based off this book, I purchased on Audible immediately, unable to wait for possible next season funding/approval, etc, if ever.

Outside of the character names, the story seems to veer so drastically from the show, that it was a bit unsatisfying (the book).

Unfortunate, as I'm unsure which one I would have preferred if approached the other way around (book first, then show).

Otherwise, it's an enjoyable 'read'

That said, I do prefer the show, at this point (drama build up, complexity of relationships, to name a couple).

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ALMOST a good book...ALMOST

The story is compelling, it really captures the struggle of being a "super minority" in fields generally dominated by white men, particularly white men that all know each other and their families. It's very nuanced and while it shows that not everyone has it easy, there are certainly rules and unspoken codes that put certain people above others in the eyes of those in charge.

The story was a roller coaster of emotions as I fully sympathized with the main character. Then the story just...ends....in possibly the least satisfying way possible. Talk about a deus ex machina... it's somewhat set up but honestly it just makes the whole story feel... like a revenge fan fic.

One of my favourite books is The Count of Monte Cristo, it too is revenge fan fic, however... the ending is not some overly gratifying "and they lived happily ever after" unlike this book... The ending completely ruins the struggles, waters them down, in many ways makes them meaningless.... It would be a million times better without the "and things turned out A OKAY!" let-down ending.

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Entertaining

A feel good story. If you are looking for an extension of the Netflix series be aware that they put a different spin on the story.

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It's not a romance book

Enjoyed the story very much! What a ride!
I thought it was going to be cringe and woke, which has some aspects of it in the story but it's not too over the top and somewhat eye-opening. I'm a woman of color, barely dealt with racism or sexism in the corporate world. We came a long way, and I owe it to the woman before me who fought for this. Forever grateful I don't have to deal with half the crap Ingrid dealt with.