The Female Persuasion
By Meg Wolitzer
Riverhead Books, 9781594488405, April 3, 2018, 464pp.
The Short of It:
I love it when a book makes you feel things.
The Rest of It:
Greer Kadetsky is young and smart and vibrant but she’s resentful because of a mistake her parents made with her financial aid forms. Instead of Yale, she ends up at another university where her boyfriend is not. This separation isolates her and makes it difficult to fit in. One night, she meets a guy who takes advantage of her, and it occurs to her that men like him exist for the sole purpose of treating women like objects, taking what they believe to be rightfully theirs.
In protest, she attends a feminist rally while wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with this loser’s face. Faith Frank is in attendance and Greer is in awe. Faith is older, more refined and brilliant. Her passion while speaking stretches to the back of the room and Greer is changed forever. Completely smitten by Faith, Greer is ecstatic when she is offered an entry-level position with Faith’s magazine.
The Female Persuasion is mostly about Greer and her evolution as a woman fighting for women’s rights but there are some other characters who occupy space in this novel. For one, Greer’s boyfriend, who suffers a devastating loss that changes him in ways that Greer never imagined. Faith’s fight for funding and her endless pursuit of elevating women’s rights is tarnished by one, not-so-slight oversight. Greer’s closest friend Zee, is betrayed by Greer which is so ironic given the circumstances and what Greer does for a living.
This is a large, impressive read. I found myself re-reading passages because some of them beg to be re-read, digested and pondered. When I turned to that last page, I felt deeply satisfied with the story’s ending but also somewhat uneasy about the state of the world we live in. A little sick, really.
I think men will shy away from a book like this but there’s something in it for them too if they give it a chance.
Get a copy and read it.
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.
18 thoughts on “Review: The Female Persuasion”
Lots of meat in this one. Lots to talk about for clubs.
I agree. How the story was told… how the characters interacted with one another, Loci’s mission, etc. Not to mention the state of the world right now.
I wish I hadn’t gone for this one on audio because I didn’t love it the way most people have. The narrator wasn’t bad but she wasn’t great either.
I can’t imagine this one on audio. I would be too detached, I think. It reminded me a lot of The Interestings and how she seemed to touch on that time in your life where everything is within your grasp.
I’m listening to the audio now and enjoying it. Great review Ti.
Kathy just commented that she didn’t care for it on audio so I hope you have a better experience with it. You and I seem to like the same books and I felt this one really hit its mark.
Wow.,.you really loved it! I guess I need to read it! Something about it has made me put it off but…
If I had to guess, I’d say the feminist slant is what puts you off. I am not a hardcore feminist. I don’t care to be taken for granted or taken advantage of. I like to have rights but I would not burn my bra over something. You know? I think the title of this book makes you instantly think it’s all pink hats and protests. There is some of that but it’s about life, really.
You confirmed I really need to read this sooner rather than later.
Frankly, I’m surprised you haven’t read it yet!
The only Wolitzer I’ve read so far was The Uncoupling, which I liked but didn’t love. I loved her writing and how she depicted people’s ordinary lives, but the premise just didn’t work for me. I’m hoping to read some more of her books because I did really love her writing.
I didn’t care for The Uncoupling. That was a very weird story. But The Interestings I loved.
Glad you liked this one. I plan to get it to it sometime. The state of the world is a bit messed up these days: Agreed.
Glad you enjoyed it so much!
I haven’t heard about this one before, but it sounds timely and like it has some important messages.
I’m convinced that I should read this one.
I’m convinced I should read this.
You should. It’s a great read.