The Female Persuasion

The Female Persuasion

Greer Kadetsky is a shy college freshman when she meets the woman she hopes will change her life. Faith Frank, dazzlingly persuasive and elegant at sixty-three, has been a central pillar of the women's movement for decades, a figure who inspires others to influence the world. Upon hearing Faith speak for the first time, Greer--madly in love with her boyfriend, Cory, but st...

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Title:The Female Persuasion
Author:Meg Wolitzer
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Female Persuasion Reviews

  • Susan Merrell

    I was lucky to have an early read of this funny, important and intelligent novel about what it means to be a human of the female persuasion in our complicated world. The characters here are compelling, their struggles are real, and Wolitzer's fundamental love of them is always in evidence. This novel manages to cover some of the most important issues of our day in all their complexity without ever sacrificing story--masterful and entertaining at the same time. I highly, highly recommend.

  • Olive (abookolive)

    I doubted I'd ever be someone who had "favorite authors," but this settles it. Meg Wolitzer is at the top of that list.

  • Reading.Between.Wines

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 / 5 rounded up

    is my first book by

    but it will definitely not be my last! Even though it wasn't what I expected I really enjoyed it.

    focuses mostly on a woman named Greer who we are introduced to while she is going to college at Ryland, a college in Connecticut. We follow her through her life until she is middle-aged, while also skipping around to other characters like her college boyfriend Cory, and her mentor Faith Frank, among othe

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5 rounded up

    is my first book by

    but it will definitely not be my last! Even though it wasn't what I expected I really enjoyed it.

    focuses mostly on a woman named Greer who we are introduced to while she is going to college at Ryland, a college in Connecticut. We follow her through her life until she is middle-aged, while also skipping around to other characters like her college boyfriend Cory, and her mentor Faith Frank, among others. I liked that we got a bunch of different viewpoints in this book, including secondary characters. Even though there are a lot of characters, Wolitzer somehow managed to keep the book from getting convoluted and confusing.

    is about a girl and her mentor, but also many other things. It looks at relationships between parents and children, romantic partners, and friends. There is a hefty dose of feminism and the tone of the overall book would be considered feminist in my opinion.

    I loved reading about the characters in this book and I felt as though this book is more about the characterization than the actual plot. If you asked me to tell you what the plot was I frankly wouldn't be able to tell you because I was so focused on the characters and their stories. Is this the plot? I don't know, all I know is I loved this book.

    Final Thought: I actually can't really think of anything I didn't like about this book. There was tragedy, love, hardship, feminism, political topics, friendship, betrayal, and so much more. It was more of a coming of age tale to me, so I guess that might be my only complaint. The blurb makes it sound more like it is just about the mentor/mentee relationship, but there was a lot more to it then that. I can't wait to read more from this author because I adore her writing style, and I think she is a masterful storyteller!

    in 3-ish words: Memorable, Witty, Observant

  • Elyse

    Audiobook ....read by Rebecca Lowman.....[ one of my very favorite voice narrators]

    The Audiobook is over 14 hours long - but the more we get to know Greer Kadetsky and Faith Frank....Cory and Zee.....the more I wanted to continue hanging out for this party ride.

    About half way into it - I learned that Nicole Kidman was going to be playing Faith Frank, and I couldn’t help but begin visualizing her in the role. I think she will be great.

    There was so much to enjoy! The characters and dialogues wer

    Audiobook ....read by Rebecca Lowman.....[ one of my very favorite voice narrators]

    The Audiobook is over 14 hours long - but the more we get to know Greer Kadetsky and Faith Frank....Cory and Zee.....the more I wanted to continue hanging out for this party ride.

    About half way into it - I learned that Nicole Kidman was going to be playing Faith Frank, and I couldn’t help but begin visualizing her in the role. I think she will be great.

    There was so much to enjoy! The characters and dialogues were my favorite parts of this book. I liked the relationships - some funny stories ( go-go dancing in Vegas girls?).....etc.

    I also loved the whole college atmosphere—and the background stories of the college kids and their families.

    I even enjoy the lessons & reminders about Individualism and Sisterhood coming together....and supporting one another. I loved the parts about modern feminism. Women have so much more freedom today — but if we separate from each other - isolate - are in competition- it could look like we don’t need each other....but nothing could be further from the truth.

    Great writing...BRILLIANT writing....VERY ENJOYABLE as an AUDIOBOOK.....funny - warm - compassionate- empowering - inspiring.

    I loved this book and everything it represents!

  • Carol (Bookaria)

    The Female Persuasion is a novel about women, sisterhood, family, ambition, and ideals. More than a book it is also a depiction of what feminism means, what it was like decades ago and how it has evolved. Of course, we learn this from the point of view of the characters limited by their circumstances.

    The story is narrated from different points of view but the character we spent the most time with is Greer Kadetsky. We follow her beginnings as a teenager all the way to adulthood. Her search for

    The Female Persuasion is a novel about women, sisterhood, family, ambition, and ideals. More than a book it is also a depiction of what feminism means, what it was like decades ago and how it has evolved. Of course, we learn this from the point of view of the characters limited by their circumstances.

    The story is narrated from different points of view but the character we spent the most time with is Greer Kadetsky. We follow her beginnings as a teenager all the way to adulthood. Her search for meaningful work and the disappointments she encounters along the way.

    The point at which Greer's life changes is when she meets Faith Frank and becomes inspired by her speech and ideals. A few years later, Greer starts working with Faith and, I would say, this is where the novel became interesting to me.

    Overall, this is a well-written novel with engaging characters and backstories. I enjoyed it and recommend it to readers of contemporary fiction.

  • Esil

    4 idiosyncratic enthusiastic stars!

    The Female Persuasion is one of those novels that felt flawed, but that I still really enjoyed reading. This is the third novel I’ve read by Meg Wolitzer. She writes dense stories. She portrays characters that are not particularly likeable or sympathetic. She engages with complicated contemporary political and social issues. It doesn’t all come together perfectly, but I always feel like she gives me a lot of food for thought.

    The Female Persuasion focuses primar

    4 idiosyncratic enthusiastic stars!

    The Female Persuasion is one of those novels that felt flawed, but that I still really enjoyed reading. This is the third novel I’ve read by Meg Wolitzer. She writes dense stories. She portrays characters that are not particularly likeable or sympathetic. She engages with complicated contemporary political and social issues. It doesn’t all come together perfectly, but I always feel like she gives me a lot of food for thought.

    The Female Persuasion focuses primarily on Greer, from adolescence to her late 20s. She is very bright and driven, but somewhat rudderless given her aloof parents. She ends up being very drawn to an older well known feminist — Faith Frank — seeking to get meaning out of working for Frank’s foundation. There are a few other characters who play a big role in Greer’s life — a long term boyfriend, a best friend and Frank’s onetime lover who funds the foundation. The book grapples with issues such as how to live a politically meaningful life, the intersection between the political and the personal, and the relationship between different generations of feminists. There are no answers or messages — although there are many moments of interesting reflection.

    I suspect that The Female Persuasion won’t work for readers looking for a crisp story or clear meaning. But I really liked it, even in all of its dense messiness.

    Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for giving me access to an advance copy.

  • Jessica Woodbury

    I have read a lot of books recently that concern themselves chiefly with the experience of being a woman in the modern world. While THE FEMALE PERSUASION seems to be about this as well, I'm also not quite sure what it's about exactly. I can tell you what all the pieces are--the complexity of female friendship, the joy and danger of female mentorship, what it means to do good--and yet I didn't finish this book feeling like I'd seen any new insight, felt a deep kinship with the characters, or seen

    I have read a lot of books recently that concern themselves chiefly with the experience of being a woman in the modern world. While THE FEMALE PERSUASION seems to be about this as well, I'm also not quite sure what it's about exactly. I can tell you what all the pieces are--the complexity of female friendship, the joy and danger of female mentorship, what it means to do good--and yet I didn't finish this book feeling like I'd seen any new insight, felt a deep kinship with the characters, or seen my experience or the experiences of others I know reflected back at me.

    Much of the book takes place around a setpiece of privileged women gathering, paying a ridiculous ticket price, listening to women deliver inspirational messages, with manicure stations and fancy food all around. The book knows this is not a good look, and yet I often felt like I was at an event like this while reading the book, it's all very nice but none of it feels real.

    My own personal tastes certainly come into play here. When our protagonist finds herself at a perfectly standard liberal arts college, her disappointment that it isn't an ivy made me roll my eyes. When our protagonist moves to the big city fresh out of college with a dream job and an apartment without roommates, same. And when we discover early on that our protagonist will eventually become famous. And when a woman who comes from money encounters people who don't for the first time. And so on. It's often hard for me to read books about privileged people working hard to make the world a better place. And it's odd because our protagonist doesn't start out as privileged but she seems to ease into it so quickly.

    My favorite section of the book was about one of the only male main characters and what happens when all those trappings are suddenly gone. His detachment from everyone around him, his motivations, his actions felt more real even if I didn't find myself fully transported to his point of view. I should add that I have read a few of Wolitzer's books and never really enjoyed them. I read this one because of its premise but I think she and I are just not a good fit. She doesn't seem to write the kind of stories I can lose myself in for whatever reason.

    Right now I admit I set a higher standard for books about women and feminism. We have a lot of ground to cover, and I don't see the point in books that don't push us forward, ask new questions, bring us into new conversations. Most of us have long since moved past second wave feminism, but this book seems to be speaking to people who are still enamored with it. I would have liked to see something bolder, something that asks more questions about women's choices, but it seems Wolitzer isn't quite there yet.

  • Carol
  • Emily May

    is a novel with little story and a lot of ideas, none of them particularly new ones.

    It stands out for being an overview of the white feminist experience during the nineties and early 21st century. Because, though it may feel like one must, I actually don't think a book like this existed before. Or, at least, not in mainstream literature.

    So I can see some value in it, but I just didn't enjoy this anywhere near as much as I thought I would. Or find any new ideas or inspirat

    is a novel with little story and a lot of ideas, none of them particularly new ones.

    It stands out for being an overview of the white feminist experience during the nineties and early 21st century. Because, though it may feel like one must, I actually don't think a book like this existed before. Or, at least, not in mainstream literature.

    So I can see some value in it, but I just didn't enjoy this anywhere near as much as I thought I would. Or find any new ideas or inspiration in its pages. I can picture, many years from now, students sat in a classroom and analyzing this book for its historical context, as a book that covers a broad range of feminist issues that are relevant to people today. Wolitzer has captured the recent history of feminism, in breadth more than depth, showcasing discussions on everything from abortion rights to the wage gap, and from porn to rape culture.

    It all begins on a college campus where the shy Greer Kadetsky attends a talk by influential feminist, Faith Frank. Faith heads a foundation called Loci, which sponsors feminist conferences, and during her talk, Greer asks a question relating to her own assault. This triggers a number of events leading to Faith offering Greer a career opportunity. Alongside this, there is also the story of the relationship between Greer and Cory.

    It seems that the book attempts to bridge the gap between second and third wave feminists, and between Gen X and Gen Y-ers (Millennials), and yet I don't think it does this very well. Faith Frank is part of an antiquated, predominantly-white feminism, which is acknowledged and then kind of brushed aside. Despite obvious attempts to be self-aware and point out privilege,

    never quite becomes intersectional in its feminism. It definitely doesn't help that every character with more than a brief mention is cisgender and white, aside from the Portuguese Cory.

    It is a long book with very little story to justify its length. It felt like lots of conversations were had between the characters but, other than offering a platform to discuss all the hot feminist topics, I didn't get the point of the story.

    Greer's shyness and anxiety interested me at first, but she quickly grew into a bland character who I didn't care for. Perhaps ironically, though perhaps not (who knows what irony is, anyway?), the guy character - Cory - was probably the most interesting character in this book.

    So, yes, I think this book gathers a lot of ideas together, but I don't think it adds anything to the discussions being had. I'm sure years from now this book will help future generations understand the conversations being had during our time about feminism and privilege, but right now it did very little for me. For such an acclaimed author, everything about this had a surprising lack of depth.

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