A New York Times Bestseller
“A powerful coming-of-age story that looks at ambition, friendship, identity, desire, and power from the much-needed female lens." —Bustle
From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Interestings, comes an electric novel not just about who we want to be with, but who we want to be.
To be admired by someone we admire—we all yearn for this: the private, electrifying pleasure of being singled out by someone of esteem. But sometimes it can also mean entry to a new kind of life, a bigger world.
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 still full of longing for an ambition that she can’t quite place—feels her inner world light up. And then, astonishingly, Faith invites Greer to make something out of that sense of purpose, leading Greer down the most exciting path of her life as it winds toward and away from her meant-to-be love story with Cory and the future she’d always imagined.
Charming and wise, knowing and witty, Meg Wolitzer delivers a novel about power and influence, ego and loyalty, womanhood and ambition. At its heart, The Female Persuasion is about the flame we all believe is flickering inside of us, waiting to be seen and fanned by the right person at the right time. It’s a story about the people who guide and the people who follow (and how those roles evolve over time), and the desire within all of us to be pulled into the light.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In Meg Wolitzer’s sparkling and satisfying novel, people dream of bigger lives, find their calling, lose their way, love, grieve, and learn. The Female Persuasion is for everyone who's been lifted up by women fighting for a fairer world. The story explores the different waves of American feminism—their triumphs, failures, clashes, and interconnectedness. It’s an important and timely read, but it’s also hugely entertaining. With its flawed, charismatic characters, dramatic stories spanning decades, and an unfettered sense of humor, the book made us feel like part of an imperfect but beautiful sisterhood.
Wolitzer's ambitious and satisfying novel (following The Interestings) charts a Massachusetts girl's coming-of-age and asks pressing questions about what it means to be an empowered modern woman. When "selectively and furiously shy" freshman Greer Kadetsky first encounters 63-year-old feminist icon Faith Frank's impassioned rhetoric during a guest lecture at her college, she is bowled over by Frank's knowledge and intimidating stature. A few years after graduation, Greer lands a coveted job at Frank's Loci Foundation, a new speakers' forum dedicated to sharing women's stories, and couldn't be more excited about what her future might hold. But life throws a few curveballs. Her high school sweetheart, now a hotshot consultant, endures an unfathomable tragedy and moves back into his childhood home, disrupting the couple's plans to move in together. And, while her job at the foundation started out exhilarating and full of big ideas, the once-wide-eyed Greer has gained a more realistic perspective a few years in including a nuanced understanding of a more human Frank. As in her previous novels, Wolitzer writes with an easy, engrossing style, and her eye for detail seamlessly connects all the dots in the book's four major story lines. This insightful and resonant novel explores what it is to both embrace womanhood and suffer because of it.)\n
Timely read during these years of marches, protests, and injustice. Sad, inspiring, funny, and educational!
Took a long time to make certain points and dev certain storylines that could have taken half a long. Harder to get through. Liked the wife better.
Pretentious unlikable characters
The woman were irritating and bland while the men were irredeemable sex crazed jerks.
I also was disappointed at the lack of meaningful discussion of women’s issues. Feminist topics such as sexual violence and reproductive rights are lightly touched upon but never explored beyond “misogyny = bad”.
Finally (this might be nitpicking) the word choices (particularly in the first few chapters) are somewhat odd as if Wolitzer was flipping through a thesaurus, ignoring flow and connotation.