Monday, September 3, 2012

Blog Tour: Terminal Ambition by Kate McGuinness

Author: Kate McGuinness
Publisher: Two XX Press
Date of publication: March 2012

Maggie Mahoney wants justice for women at her law firm.
The firm chairman wants to be Attorney General.
Only one can win.

If ambition rules, can justice prevail?

When I started Terminal Ambition, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it.  Don't get me wrong, I am all for women's rights, especially in the work place. However, I was afraid it would be too preachy.  I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book.  I found that once I started it, I was eager to see where the story would lead.  

At first, Maggie is pretty ambivalent about the way women seem to be treated in her law firm.  Even to the point that she just deflects advances from colleagues without taking action.  When she is asked to be part of a committee to look into harassment issues at her firm, her ideals begin to quickly change.  I liked Maggie's character.  Once she had her eyes opened, she realizes that she cannot just sit back and do nothing.

Terminal Ambition is a very compelling and well written book.  I wouldn't say it was a thriller as there really weren't any surprises.  For me it was more a peek into the "Old Boys Network" that is still (disgustingly, IMHO) prominent in many professions today.

One of the things that I liked about the book is that it isn't all written from Maggie's perspective.  The book alternates between different characters so that the reader gets to see several sides.  There is also a slight hint at a possible romance with a colleague/friend.  Hopefully,  we will see more of Sam in coming books. I look forward to see more from this author in the future!

About the author:

Legal Career
Kate McGuinness practiced law in courtrooms, conference rooms and boardrooms. Despite sexual harassment and discrimination, she fought her way to successs.

Following graduation from law school, she joined a major international law firm. After seven years in the trenches, she was invited to join the partnership, becoming one of only a handful of female partners among the firm's equity owners who numbered more than a hundred.

After 17 years at the firm, a Fortune 500 company recruited Kate to serve as its General Counsel. The position came with an office on the executive floor where she was the only female officer. Mercifully, the other women there filled her in on who was doing what to whom!

Passion for Women's Rights
Kate encountered street harassment as a young woman living overseas. It frightened her and made her angry. The silver lining of the crude gestures and catcalls was that they made much of the harassment she faced as a lawyer seem toothless. 

Gender discrimination became personal for Kate when she needed a job after she relocated to California. An employment agency advertised for a stockbroker trainee. In violation of Title VII, she was told they "didn't hire women for that." But there was a job she "might" qualify - a receptionist for plastic surgeons. Needing an income, Kate accepted. The job was the first of a series of lessons in being objectified.
After being asked which of the doctors had "done her breasts," Kate began to research career options. She grew up in a blue-collar family and had never met a lawyer, but her choice of aw school proved to be a good one.

Kate's Life Today
In addition to Terminal Ambition, Kate writes on women's issues for a number of online sites. Her essays have appeared in Forbes Woman, Jezebel, Women's Media Center, Fem2pt0, Role/Reboot, Ms. JD, The Girls Guide to Law School and LSAT Unplugged .

You can follow her on Twitter @womnsrightswrtr.

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