Tag Archives: Meg Wolitzer

Review: The Female Persuasion

The Female Persuasion

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.

Review: The Interestings

The Interestings

The Interestings
By Meg Wolitzer
(Riverhead Hardcover, Hardcover, 9781594488399, April 2013, 480pp.)

The Short of It:

Good friends and a healthy dose of nostalgia. So many of life’s ills can be cured with that combination.

The Rest of It:

Goodness, what is there to say? I read this so long ago. Long before my blogging break and yet, it still remains in my heart in some small way. It’s about a group of kids who meet at an art’s camp over the summer. They name themselves “The Interestings” because they all have the hope of becoming something unique once they hit their adult years. Some have money and talent and others, not so much, but what they have in common is a sincere understanding of one another. Wolitzer follows them into adulthood and the end result is a fascinating look at relationships and how they weather the test of time.

I adored this book. Simply adored it. I listened to part of it on audio and it was fantastic but I also read some of it in print and it was wonderful as well. The story is told by Jules Jacobson as she meets and befriends this group of kids. She’s got the right amount of confidence and awkwardness. Just enough to make her likable and her ability to take in a situation and react accordingly is admirable. She’s level-headed, bright, but not perfect. In fact, none of these kids are perfect. Their outer shells sometimes make them appear that way, but inside, they are all vulnerable which is what makes this group of kids especially readable.

But don’t think that this is a young adult novel, because it’s not. They enter adulthood rather quickly and as with most things, their shine dulls a bit until they find steady ground. The aftermath of a rape, is what propels them quickly into adulthood and the way that they handle the event and the loyalty to one particular character is what eventually divides them. But their journey is somehow interesting even though much of it is somewhat mundane. College, career, marriage, children. The rut of adulthood is also the impetus to propel them forward.

Some readers have said that they found the book to go on a little too long. It’s chunky and goes along at a steady pace, but I didn’t find it to be long at all. In fact, I found myself not wanting it to end. I had grown close to these characters and through the course of reading the book, I felt as if I knew them and that they could easily be people I know now. There was a familiarity that was comforting. You know that movie The Big Chill? It was sort of like watching that movie. A circle of friends, made tighter by tragedy. The easy interactions, the “what if” questions, the effect that passing years has on a person or marriage. Everyone has that one friend that they think of no matter how many years go by, and so I think many readers can relate to what happens in this story.

Reading this book is like visiting with old friends and I loved it for that reason. I loved it for all the memories that it brought back to me from my own teen years and the fact that it was well written certainly didn’t hurt.

Source: Sent to me by the publisher via Library Thing
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.