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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2012
It was 1963 when I started working in the Personnel Office. A year later, I became secretary to the Director who was charged with the responsibility of updating, disseminating, and implementing the new employment laws that came into existence in 1964. It had been a very long time since I had read anything about filing with the EEOC, sexual harassment and sexual discrimination...

Yet, here I was reading Terminal Ambition by Kate McGuiness, written as if this was all new "stuff..."

It had started to change around 1985; this author essentially was telling me that the United States was back where it was in the early 1960s. My heart sunk... but I wasn't the least surprised... Because by the time I left work there, I had planned to file my own legal suit...

Maggie Mahoney had worked hard--the extra hours and extra research that had finally won her a partnership. She deserved it and knew it, nor did she think much about the other women in the firm--she had her own career goals and had gotten where she was because she had worked her head off to get there. I commend Kate McGuiness for developing her character this way, because when she began to have a change of heart, it was easy to see she realized how much she had been blind to, or just overlooked because of her own time and career pressures.

She had always known that everybody felt she had made partner by sleeping with one of the partners. But she had loved him and ignored such gossip. But then he was killed in an accident and she soon realized a change when she went back to work--a change in the way she was treated.

At the same time, word was going around every place that a large law firm was going to be investigated by the EEOC...

So in response, an internal self-review was to start. Maggie was named as one of the members of that group. Do I dare say that she was dumb (or naive) enough to think that the committee was a good thing and would be of great help?

What she found instead was just the opposite...

Readers may think that the novel is overkill--that too many different examples of discrimination were included. In fact, this book has more sexual issues than an erotic novel...LOL

The key thing that these sexual issues were about harassment and discrimination. The example I enjoyed most was when clients were going to be entertained by the in house staff. The female attorneys or associates were excluded because they routinely took their clients to strip clubs. The involved females were told that the clients would feel uncomfortable participating in the "services" if their female lawyers were present. Ahhh, the sexual fun has soooo evolved... [sarcasm intended]

Maggie was astounded when she heard this, and especially amazed that up to $100,000 may be spent in just one night!

You see, somewhere around the 80s and 90s, the desire for macho power rose again, and simply eliminated all that had been accomplished in the 60s and 70s. Many readers will read this book and exclaim it is revolutionary, illuminating, and will help you "think about going to work and what you can do there..." What I will say bluntly is that if you have faced any form of sexual harassment or sexual discrimination as illustrated in Terminal Ambition, run, don't walk, to the nearest phone and call the EEOC. Alternatively, check out Kate's site, on women's rights. My own lawyer explained that my own case had gone on so long and was so encompassing that I could not afford to pay her to sufficiently study all the materials in order to represent me. Don't let your own situation continue if there is one... Seek help!

Kudos to Kate McGuinness for starting this series. And for her becoming a full-time advocate for Women's Rights. I consider this a must-read for every women now working...

GABixlerReviews
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2012
Some books give you a sense of a world that may be foreign to you. Books like Terminal Ambition drag you into such a world and give you the full-immersion experience.

From the first page I was into it and simply didn't want to put it down. And the best part: it wasn't just an entertaining read, it gave me real insights into an issue that, being a man, I would not be able to experience firsthand. This was darn near as good -- or maybe I should say as bad -- as being there.

A really impressive debut and one can only hope the first of many more books to come.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2012
I picked up this book this weekend and read it quickly, because I enjoyed it so much! I really liked getting to know Maggie Mahoney and I look forward to other books with her as the lead character.

The subject of this book (the sexual harassment and discrimination that, unfortunately, still does exist in the legal profession) is one that needs to be talked about by attorneys and non-attorneys. Kate McGuiness uses her ability to tell a compelling story to create a dialogue around how women are at times treated in the legal profession.

I recommend this book as a fun read, but one that also makes you think and consider the themes underlying the story line.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2012
I really don't understand all the 5-star reviews. I struggled to get through this book. It was easy-reading, I guess, but it was page after page of rediculous sexual harrassment scenarios that never seemed to end. That seemed to be the entire book... sexual harrassment... go to the bosses, they do nothing... another sexual harrassment...go to the bosses, they do nothing... over and over. I have experience in dealing with sexual harrasment but this book seemed very shallow.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2013
I read -- any time I can - all the time I can possibly make it work -- anything and everything I can get my hands on. It is as much a passion with me as television is for others. My thinking has been that I can always put a book down at any time and do what needs to be done (cooking, cleaning, working, exercising, etc.) and then go back to my book (unlike television that leaves you in the lurch.)

This book, however, does NOT afford you that option; once you start reading it, you CANNOT put it down. I started reading it before a scheduled out-of-town trip; packed my suitcase with my left hand - book in my right! Read the entire 3.5 hour drive, instead of talking to my husband (not a good plan!); and again on the drive home. When my husband requested that I drive a while and let him rest, I 'barked' at him, "hey, I'm busy reading here, I can't drive!"

Buy it - read it - you'll love it; but -- give you tip -- don't plan on getting a whole heck of a lot done until you finish! It is definitely a keeper -- I will read it again -- no doubt -- and I'm sharing with friends! You will too!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2012
Kate McGuinness' Terminal Ambition kept me riveted. I couldn't put the book down. I felt like I was watching a cross between old and new TV shows LA LAW and MAD MEN. The raw, out of control ambition and lust of the male principals running the story's law firm must be contained or else the ladies' careers - and worse - will be destroyed. Terminal Ambition has a fiery end. Can't wait 'til this attorney/novelist author finishes her next Maggie Mahoney tale. Hurry up attorney Kate!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2012
In this engaging thriller, Terminal Ambition tackles the culture of sexual discrimination and harassment in a big law firm. From its dramatic opening on a mountaintop to the inner sanctum of power at a big law firm, this page-turner offers readers a wild ride they won't soon forget.

-Steven J. Harper, author of The Partnership: A Novel and Crossing Hoffa: A Teamster's Story, adjunct professor at Northwestern University, columnist for "The American Lawyer," and retired partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I highly recommend this book. It's a riveting read on all fronts. Terminal Ambition has an opening chapter you'll never forget. The writing is as high-quality as any you'll find. The author drops you into the lightning-speed, competitive atmosphere of the highest levels of a major law firm. It feels like you're there: The dialogue, descriptions of the clothing, homes, and offices--everything about book's characters and their lifestyles is spot on. Which you would expect, given that the author was a partner in a major law firm. She knows her stuff.

This book would satisfy if it were only a legal thriller, but it's more than that. Its subject is sexual discrimination and harassment in a huge legal institution. This is a topic that maters to all of us, not just women. I have not experienced the criminal harassment that some of the women in this book do. I do know women who have; it's something that spreads across the industries of our nation. From what one of my friends told me, when she finally got the courage up to complain to the highest levels of her company, her bosses did--exactly nothing. I would say that their lack of action damaged their personal integrity. And the perpetrator faced no consequences at all. What did untrammeled freedom to abuse do for his character? The issues raised in this book are important for our society--and our souls.

There's more. Author Kate McGuinness includes the first chapter of the sequel to Terminal Ambition. Wow! It looks like book #2 in the series will be as thrilling and suspenseful as book #1. I hope she writes fast!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2012
This is both a very good book and a very unusual book. It's a very unusual book because it's a terrific legal-themed novel, yet neither a classic murder mystery (no dead bodies around) nor a classic legal thriller (no courtroom scenes and no innocent person facing the death penalty). Instead, it's set within the confines of a very large law firm and involves a power struggle -- between, on the one hand, a very senior partner who wants to be Attorney General and doesn't want tales of the rampant sexual harassment in the firm to interfere with his confirmation hearings and, on the other hand, a seniorish woman partner who has to choose between her career and standing up to the guy. So it reminds me more of Allen Drury's Advise and Consent than of Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent. It's a very good book because it takes a hat trick for a writer to make an abstract power struggle engrossing, particularly when it involves, not who will be President of the United States or Speaker of the House, but, instead, who will prevail in an internal struggle for the heart and soul of a law firm. Yet the author manages to pull the rabbit out of the hat with an excellent plot, memorable characters, a heroine you root for and terrific writing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2012
A complimentary copy of this book was sent for me to review on my kindle.
Maggie is in a happy place in her life, especially in her work for a high powered legal firm. Then when her husband is killed tragically in a skiing accident, things begin to fall apart. Although Maggie is a partner in the company, she knows she is being derailed but agrees to sit on a committee to look into sexual harassment among the women where she works. As events start to unfold Maggie realises things are not what they seem. She finds a lot of dark corners where daylight needs to be let in, it goes right to the very top, she then learns it is a white wash job she is supposed to do. So Maggie has a lot of problems to solve , especially when her female colleagues start talking to her. Can she bring it all to a good conclusion and catch the males involved to go to court. To find out if she can please read this great book. The author has written an excellent plot with a slow build up which works really well. Her knowledge of women's rights and on sexual harassment surpass none. A must read for all women in a working environment. I highly rate this book. I look forward to reading the next one.
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