Careers For Women Summary & Study Guide

Scott, Joanna
This Study Guide consists of approximately 85 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Careers For Women.
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Careers For Women Summary & Study Guide Description

Careers For Women Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Careers For Women by Scott, Joanna.

The following version of this book was used to create the guide: Scott, Joanna. Careers for Women. Little, Brown, and Company (Hachette Book Group), 2017.

As Joanna Scott crafts her story and her character Maggie Gleason narrates (for we learn that Maggie is writing this story), the narrative gradually introduces the main characters and their stories. After these crucial introductions, the narrative will travel back and forth between the outing at the Golden Door and the fire at the aluminum plant in Visby, New York.

When Pauline was 17 years old, she started working as a receptionist at Alumacore aluminum company in Albany, New York. Almost destitute, she ensures she kept her job by succumbing to her boss’ sexual advances and later became pregnant. The father, her boss, we learn later, is Mr. Robert Whittaker Jr. After being paid off, Pauline moved to New York City where she remained for the rest of the novel.

Kay and Robert, commonly known as Bob (Bobo to Pauline), start out as the ideal couple living in the lavish and upscale city of Albany. Kay was immersed in her social scene with fellow neighbors and other friends, and Bob was immersed in his work. Kay soon discovered her husband’s affair and almost left him, but to secure her own way of life and certain luxuries in her routine, she forgave him. Bob soon gets caught up in a price fixing scheme in which the company decides to “fix” the problem and transfer Bob, promoting him to supervising manager of the Visby plant in upstate New York. The ideal couple was on the verge of crumbling with this move and the looming fact of adultery. Soon Bob becamae extremely involved in his work, while Kay wallowed in their aluminum new home with Vodka tonics, valium, and soap operas.

As these two storylines, Bob and Pauline, continue to develop and slowly begin to converge again, Maggie went into some detail about herself and about Mrs. J. Maggie grew up in a typical home and moved to the city to get some experience or to find a husband, whichever came first or last. Mrs. J grew up in Wichita, and soon got the opportunity to work as a reporter in Washington through an important connection; from there led her to become the director of the Public Relations department at the Port Authority in New York. Mrs. J soon becomes an intimidating leader, but an enduring role model. A person that Maggie admires, and a woman that becomes a safety net for Pauline.

While in New York, Pauline gave birth to a little girl, Sonia, who was born mentally disabled. Being her own little family, Pauline loved Sonia more than anything in the world and thought she was beautiful the way she was. After some time, the money from Bob was almost gone and she went in search of a job. She found a sweet old lady, Mrs. Clayborne to watch Sonia while she went on the hunt. She soon found a typist job with a Photomat. Instantly hired, she worked for a Mr. Hopley who began asking her to model for some stock photos on the weekends. Soon though, he expected her to pose nude and eventually transferred her to a gentlemen’s club where she was expected to become a prostitute. With Sonia to support and now Mrs. Clayborne, who had fallen destitute, she took the job. Later though, Mrs. J saved her when she was almost arrested for prostitution and invited her to come work at the P.A. with her.

While Pauline endured her tumultuous life, Mrs. J worked very hard in promoting a grand project for the P.A.: the construction of the tallest building in the country. This soon became the early works of the World Trade Center. By this time, there has been numerous breaks in the narrative in which the reader received glimpses into the major contamination that was occurring in the St. Lawrence River Valley in Visby from the aluminum plant. Contamination that Bob denied, but lawsuits break out immediately from farmers and the nearby Mohawk tribes regardless.

While working at the P.A, Pauline discovered exactly where Bob was located, due to the P.A. doing business with his plant some years before, and traveled to see him again. They agree on a deal in which Bob will give her some money to make up for child support once a year. In the fourth year, Bob became frustrated with the fact that Pauline refused to restart the affair, and he ends up strangling her to death. With no explanation of her disappearance, Maggie ends up becoming Sonia’s full guardian.

The book concludes close to where the book began, the Visby fire. The reader discovered that Bob finally confessed his crime to his wife, whom writes a letter to Maggie explaining her side of things and how very sorry she was for what had transpired and blamed aluminum for her husband’s insanity. Out of desperation, Kay ends up causing the fire at the plant to end her life, and Bob followed her, and he was also consumed by the flames. Maggie finally learned the truth years later. The 9/11 attack transpired at the very end of the book, Mrs. J has died and her spirit traveled to the wreckage of the buildings she spent a lifetime fighting for. She rested in peace by the current memorial fountains that are present in replace of the World Trade Center towers.

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