Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Chambermaid: A Novel” as Want to Read:
Chambermaid: A Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Chambermaid: A Novel

2.67  ·  Rating Details ·  219 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
The devil holds a gavel in this wickedly entertaining debut novel about a young attorney’s eventful year clerking for a federal judge. Sheila Raj is a recent graduate of a top-ten law school with dreams of working for the ACLU, but law school did not prepare her for the power-hungry sociopath, Judge Helga Friedman, who greets her on her first day. While her beleaguered col ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published July 10th 2007 by Grove Press (first published May 1st 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Chambermaid, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Chambermaid

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Lisa
Apr 10, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it
Wanted to reach because it's written by a lawyer and I saw an article about in the Texas Lawyer. We'll see if it's any good.

It was pretty darn funny. Although I caution anyone who's going to read this book. If you aren't in the legal business, you might not enjoy this book. It's about the legal biz and there are so many references that the lay person probably wouldn't get. There were lots of funny parts though.
MaryAnn
Mar 10, 2009 MaryAnn rated it liked it
Rather funny but detailed novel about law students and first jobs. Too much knowledge required about legal stuff, but otherwise a good first novel.
Lynn
Sep 11, 2011 Lynn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Only the second book I've ever seen written about my job, the lowly law clerk, so I thought it was a must read. But, like the first (the Tenth Justice), it was terrible. It's the ubiquitous story of the crazy, bitchy, mean boss. Written by a former appellate clerk, the author brings the Nanny Diaries and Devil Wears Prada to the judiciary. Not that this genre is a great vein of American literature, but this book is particularly bad. Everything is so exaggerated and predictable. It's not at all f ...more
Katherine
Aug 16, 2007 Katherine rated it it was ok
So this book is basically The Devil Wears Prada with "3rd Circuit Appeals Court" thrown in everyone "Runway" should be and the names of judges and cases substituted in for designers. It's not particularly original, right down to the fledgling romance with the co-clerk (it's also similarly auto-biographical, despite its "novel" designation). On the other hand, it's funny and definitely a good, fast light read. Also, somewhat of an interesting anomoly in the legal world, where saying anything nega ...more
Jackie
Aug 20, 2007 Jackie rated it really liked it
This book is "The Devil Wears Prada" set in the Law/Clerk world. The judge in this book is a crazy woman! If you are having a stressful day at work--read this book! You might realize that it could be worse! At one point, a clerk got stranded because there was a blizzard (it takes place in Philly) and he had to walk from where his train was stranded (north of Philly) into downtown Philly because the Judge didn't close the office even though the WHOLE city of Philly was shut down. Hilarious! (unle ...more
Maureen
Jun 28, 2010 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another one of those books that I'd recommend for law students; it's frightening how much you'll recognize the characters in this book as your own classmates. I am a big fan of books which mix chick lit with a believably intellectual setting, and this is one of those books. If you've got brains, it can be hard to relate to shopaholics and Vogue editors in most chick lit I can think of. I couldn't put it down and read it quickly; another book for law students on vacation or who need somet ...more
Nancy
Feb 29, 2008 Nancy rated it really liked it
This would be a great book for anyone who hates their job or thinks they have a tyrannical boss. The author, who in real life went to law school and clerked for a federal judge, has written a funny and sometimes cringe-inducing depiction of a young woman's year of clerking for a federal judge. I grabbed it almost at random from the new books shelf at the public library, and it was a great surprise.
Katie
Nov 17, 2007 Katie rated it it was ok
This book was mostly fluff – perfect for a few pages a night before bed, but nothing earth-shattering. I read it because I wanted to learn about what its like to clerk for a Federal Appellate Judge (my husband was in the process of interviewing for a clerkship at the time). The book was very funny and entertaining but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who isnt familiar with the clerkship process.
Mickeymu
Jan 28, 2013 Mickeymu rated it it was ok
Nanny Diaries meets a Federal Appeals Court law clerk. The constant one liners were tedious, as was the repetition in dialogue and action. The author, a lawyer and former law clerk for a judge in the third circuit must be certain of her writing career as she makes no attempt to disquise the identity of the judge for whom she clerked. Seems like career suicide to me.
Miranda
Mar 11, 2008 Miranda rated it it was ok
The writing was pretty hilarious at times. The story was entertaining, though there were things that were hard to buy as a lawyer (some of the legal issues in the death penalty case) and a person (a tiny 70+ yr old woman heaving a 10 lb book at her law clerk's head and hitting her in the face). But there were also some things that rang true as a law clerk. Definitely decent brain candy.
Rachel Schoenberger
Mar 05, 2008 Rachel Schoenberger rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I don't know if people who have no interest in law would like it as much as I did, but Rao is a good writer and kept me interested. The main character basically describes her trials and tribulations clerking for a US Appeals Court judge who is truly kooky. Some parts are laugh out loud funny while you commiserate with the character in other chapters.
Seema
Apr 24, 2008 Seema rated it really liked it
Although it was disappointingly anticlimactic I loved the intelligent sense of humor of Rao. It helped that many of the jokes were about Indians or Indian culture...those are always a good time. It's basically The Devil Wears Prada in the judicial world, without the personal journey to the realization that there's more to life than fashion and work.
Cat
Strictly limited in its (moderate) appeal to law students. I admit, I did enjoy hearing about a clerk with a tyrannical judge for a boss. The obvious conventions of chick lit apply, in a geeked-up lawyer setting.
Marti
Apr 19, 2011 Marti rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not fabulous literature, but many funny episodes from the perspective of a federal judicial clerk.
And the conclusion that Duke law grads are arrogant + dumb = intolerable made the whole book worthwhile.
Ruby
May 15, 2009 Ruby rated it did not like it
Who thought someone could make chick-lit out of a federal clerkship experience? I really thought a trained lawyer could write much better than this, but hey, who am I to judge (ha ha!) Overall, cutesy, short, and only mildly annoying at times. Great book to read on a long and boring bus ride.
Sarah
May 11, 2008 Sarah rated it liked it
Very readable book.... slightly strange but worth reading, especially if you are at all interested in the legal world and very silly judicial stuff! I would give it as 3.5 but as far as I know 1/2 stars are not an option.
Elizabeth Olson
Thinly disguised as fiction, this is really a caustic and often hilarious memoir of a brand new law school grad's first year out, spent clerking for a Federal judge who's vicious, single-minded when she's not absent-minded, slave driving, and amazingly, a brilliant defender of human rights.
Brian
Nov 28, 2009 Brian rated it liked it
Clever story, playing on the desire of all law students and young lawyers to experience a "clerkship." My only criticism is that the story's "volume" was stuck on high. There were no dynamics to the story. To paraphrase a famous cartoon villain, "when everything is over the top, nothing is."
Erika
May 26, 2008 Erika rated it liked it
Though the story is not particularly original, I thought it was a good, entertaining, and sometimes quite true picture of any type of boss. It also has moments where I laughed out loud. If you are looking an entertaining, funny quick read, I would recommend it.
Ninadiva
A nice read. Most of the time novel comedy doesn't make me smile, but this one did. The federal judge that the main character is working for is a real hoot. Overall an okay read, with the judge as a highlight.
Emily
Feb 26, 2008 Emily rated it it was ok
HORRIBLY annoying protagonist but mildly entertaining in the beginning. The ending, though? Practically intolerable.
sima
May 20, 2007 sima rated it it was ok
Silly but brainless quick read that no one but a law student should both with.
Kate
Aug 24, 2008 Kate rated it really liked it
This book is just like The Devil Wears Prada, but with law clerks and judges. I liked it.
Sara
Aug 25, 2011 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this book- I thought it was very well written and hilarious. I am not sure if those not in the legal field would enjoy it quite as much but definitely an excellent book.
Nellie
Sep 12, 2008 Nellie rated it liked it
Hilarious; can read it in one sitting.
Cheryl
Aug 28, 2007 Cheryl rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Whoever liked "The Devil Wears Prada" and "The Nanny Diaries"
This was yet another thinly veiled tell all book. I didn't finish it, because I just couldn't find myself caring enough to do it.
Allison Suflas
Jul 11, 2007 Allison Suflas is currently reading it
Not yet finished. A little disappointed at the book in-and-of itself, BUT the commentary on clerks and law students/graduates as a whole is HILARIOUS (and hits VERY close to home)!
Marsha
Sep 25, 2015 Marsha rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
Truly terrible book. I read the whole thing, though! My son's fiancée is just starting her clerkship in the same court, so I had to give the book a try. Wow. Really bad.
Debby
Jul 12, 2009 Debby rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
witty and daringly funny about the federal clerkships.
Prplpckl
Funny at times. However, it feels like you are reading one big "inside joke" or story, and as a non-lawer, I'm not in on it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The read 1 1 Jun 04, 2007 07:03AM  
  • The Wanderer's Necklace
  • Monarch: The Life and Reign of Elizabeth II
  • A Girl's Best Friend (Spa Girls, #2)
  • The Rock & Roll Queen of Bedlam: A Wise-Cracking Tale of Secrets, Peril, and Murder!
  • Growing Strong Daughters: Encouraging Girls To Become All They're Meant To Be
  • The Rebel's Silhouette: Selected Poems
  • Live a Little!: Breaking the Rules Won't Break Your Health
  • The Best American Erotic Poems: From 1800 to the Present
  • Event Planning: The Ultimate Guide to Successful Meetings, Corporate Events, Fundraising Galas, Conferences, Conventions, Incentives and Other Special Events
  • The Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen: 6-Volume Set
  • How to Work for an Idiot: Survive & Thrive Without Killing Your Boss
  • Atlas of Unknowns
  • Love is a Fire (Burning Lovesick, #1)
  • Finishing Touches
  • Apprentice to the Flower Poet Z.
  • The Feasting Season
  • On Her Trail: My Mother, Nancy Dickerson, TV News' First Woman Star
  • Live It, Love It, Earn It: A Woman's Guide to Financial Freedom

Share This Book