Thursday, September 10, 2020

The Boys’ Club


Author: Erica Katz

Publisher: Harper

Year: 2020


First year lawyer Alex Vogel joins a high powered Manhattan law firm. She throws herself into her work to win a spot on the prestigious mergers & acquisitions team. Her climb up the Big Law ladder comes at the expense of her relationship with her boyfriend, her friends and her safety. 

I started out liking Alex. She’s young, smart, idealistic and hard working. She wants to do well and make a good impression at the big law firm where she’s just been hired as a junior associate. But as she makes a name for herself and starts working with the hotshot M&A guys, she becomes a real jerk. She ignores her boyfriend. She’s mean and judgmental to her parents. She starts drinking like a fish and doing drugs. She has an affair with a married senior partner at the firm. 

Some things didn’t ring true for me. The way Alex describes her parents’ house almost makes them sound poor. But her dad is an oncologist. And Alex didn’t have any law school loans to pay off. So I’m assuming she didn’t live a hard scrabble life. She looks down on her mom for being a stay at home suburban mom while Alex was growing up instead of a hard charging career woman. Alex only changes her mind about her mother after she learns her mom gave up a career as an architect to raise her. 

So many things seemed like a cliche that we’ve seen a million times before- the long hours of work, the partying, entertaining clients at a strip club, the affair with one of her bosses. The ending wasn’t exactly a let down but I didn’t find it completely satisfying. 

The author does try to keep the story moving along. She keeps the lawyer and M&A jargon to a minimum. I prefer thrillers with more action, but other readers might find this compelling. 

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