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The Female Persuasion

Updated: May 9, 2018

The Female Persuasion

A satisfying novel of a young woman trying to figure out who she is, and who she is supposed to be in the world.


SUMMARY Greer Kadetsky is a shy college freshman at Ryland College. She’s there because her parents could not fill out the financial aid forms that would have yielded her entry into Yale. This isn’t where she wanted to be. While at Ryland, she meets Faith Frank for the first time. Faith, 63, is a feminist icon and has been a central player in the women’s movement for decades. Faith can carry a room with her knowledge and wit, and her suede boots were enviable. Greer is captivated by Faith, and after graduation goes to work for her, interviewing women for their stories and writing speeches. Her relationship with Faith as her mentor becomes complicated.

Greer and Cory had been a couple since high school.They had planned on going to college together, but that didn’t happen. Cory was accepted at Yale, while Greer was relegated to Ryland college. Though hundreds of miles apart their relationship survived, and they made plans for after graduation. But once again things didn’t work out as planned for either Greer or Cory. Greer’s best friend, Zee who’s is gay, is also struggling to make a difference in the world. She too wanted to work for Faith Frank.

“I think there are two kinds of feminist. The famous ones, and everyone else. Everyone else, all the people who just quietly go and do what they’re supposed to do, and don’t get a lot of credit for it, and don’t have someone out there every day telling them they’re doing an awesome job.”

REVIEW THE FEMALE PERSUASION is a novel about a young woman who is trying to find her place in the world. It about a woman trying to figure out who she is supposed to be and who she is suppose to be with. It’s about the obstacles in her life that prevented her from achieving the things she thought she was supposed to be doing. While the writing was great I found reading it to be a struggle at times, and my interest sometimes faltered. The story was long but interestingly raised a variety of social issues that played significant role in the narrative: privilege, personal/professional ethics, and family responsibility to name just a few. The modern day feminism aspect of the book left a little to be desired.

The people in Greer’s life, her best-friend, Zee, her boyfriend, Cory and her mentor, Faith, all played pivotal roles in guiding Greer’s decisions and impacting her life. Greer’s character was at times frustrating, she left me waiting for her to evolve into a stronger, bolder character. All characters were well developed and I particularly liked Cory, and how he handled the difficulties he faced after graduation.

MEG WOLITZER is a New York Times best selling author of The Interestings, The Uncoupling, The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, The Wife and Sleepwalking. I listened to the audio version of the book, which was narrated by Rebecca Lowman. Publisher Penguin Random House Audio. Publication Date April 3, 2018.

“I do it for women. Not everyone agrees with the way I do it. Women in powerful positions are never safe from criticism. The kind of feminism I’ve practice is one way to go about it. There are plenty of others, and that’s great. There are impassioned and radical young women out there, telling multiple stories. I applaud them. We need them. We need as many women fighting as possible. I learned that early on from the wonderful Gloria Steinem - the world is big enough for different kinds of feminist to coexist, people who want to emphasize different aspects of the fight for equality. God knows the injustices are endless, and I am going to use whatever resources are at my disposal to fight in the way I know how.”
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