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The Female Persuasion

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  19,985 Ratings  ·  2,631 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 454 pages
Published April 3rd 2018 by Riverhead Books
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Karen Kendrick The Wife. I fell into the story from the first page. The order in which the story unfolded was refreshing. Never had to suspend reality. Never flipped…moreThe Wife. I fell into the story from the first page. The order in which the story unfolded was refreshing. Never had to suspend reality. Never flipped pages to barrel to a predictable ending. Real life happens like this all the time - and we never know, looking from the outside. Could be the story of any intelligent couple you know. (less)

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Emily May
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mma-2018, modern-lit, 2018
The Female Persuasion 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
...more
Jessica Woodbury
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Elyse Walters
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Esil
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ew
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
...more
Carol
Hmmmmmm........had to digest this Barnes & Noble inaugural bookclub pick for a bit; had my ups and downs with it to be honest.

While THE FEMALE PERSUASION alternates between the lives of four characters, the main focus is on a young adult, Greer about to graduate high school, her relationship with her boyfriend, lesbian best friend, unusual parents and an older woman who turns out to be her mentor.

For me, the best and most significant story belongs to Cory....how he handled shocking loss and

...more
Olive (abookolive)
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites-2018
I doubted I'd ever be someone who had "favorite authors," but this settles it. Meg Wolitzer is at the top of that list.
Michael
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Simply put: it's a boring book. No real human insights beyond the lightly refreshing sparkling zinfandel struggles of rich white people.

Cory was the only character that faced real problems and his story is totally sidelined, for the way-too-convenient success story of a young woman who's life falls into fantastically perfect place due to no real effort of her own.

Dues ex machina all over the place. Reads like a dense literary Disney story. Suffers from the negative aspects of both dense literar
...more
Carol (Bookaria)
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, fiction, top-2018
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
...more
Helene Jeppesen
May 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I was mildly disappointed by this book. Most probably because I had sky-high expectations after having read and loved Meg Wolitzer’s “The Interestings”.
“The Female Persuasion” is most of all a character-driven book about feminism in our modern world. Greer is our protagonist, but we get to know other people who influence her view on life and women’s rights: Zee, her college friend, Cole her boyfriend, and last but not least Faith Frank (what a great name!) who ends up having the biggest influen
...more
Reading.Between.Wines
⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 / 5 rounded up

The Female Persuasion is my first book by Meg Wolitzer but it will definitely not be my last! Even though it wasn't what I expected I really enjoyed it.

The Female Persuasion 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
...more
Jai
Apr 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
A book about ideas that is too afraid to pursue those ideas or a book about characters without interesting characters. The Female Persuasion takes the promising premise of looking at the relationship between a prominent second-wave feminist and her guidance of a younger woman coming into her own in modern times. However, the book never really pins down what it wants to say. Feminism is the large topic hanging over all proceedings of this novel, but it never wants to explore any aspect of feminis ...more
Roman Clodia
It pains me to say this, but for a book purporting to be about contemporary feminism this feels superficial, undercooked and really quite boring. The plot meanders around without ever reaching cruising speed, and switches around between characters in almost random fashion.

Important issues about rape/sexual violence, porn, misogyny, gender pay-gap, reproductive rights, what it means to be a political activist are all ticked off as present and correct but the text never really engages with them i
...more
Susan Merrell
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
Lisa
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it
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
...more
Meredith B.  (readingwithmere)
3 Stars!

This may be an unpopular opinion but I had some issues with this book. I ended up reading it because of the hype. This was also the Barnes and Noble Pick for their book club so I really read it for that.

The book has so many points of view I'm not even sure where to start. We meet Greer in the beginning: she's a scholastic girl who likes to read a lot of books and definitely different from her parents who do odd jobs and don't even make dinner for her. Greer has a boyfriend named Cory who
...more
Jessica
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
DAMMIT. As if I needed another reason to obsess over the state of the world, feminism, grief, etc, here comes this book and makes me sit and THINK about everything instead of happily escaping into the void of cute dog videos.
Thomas
A peculiar novel about Greer Kadetsky, a freshman in college who meets a feminist icon, Faith Frank, who changes the direction of Greer's life in ways she could never expect. Before meeting Faith, Greer had a long-term boyfriend, Cory, and a persistent discontentment with her parents and the non-Ivy-League liberal arts college she attends. However, when Greer's friend Zee informs Greer about Faith Frank's status as a feminist icon and her speaking event at their college, Greer takes a chance, go ...more
Nikki (Saturday Nite Reader)

This book is a beast, in that the hardcover is 454 pages. I started this book on a Sunday in the hopes of finishing by Wednesday, May 2nd to make the Barnes & Noble Inaugural Book Club Night (on said book). I did it but it was no small feat! Lots of late night reading and carrying the book with me everywhere and reading while waiting on line, or while walking to the subway, or whenever I had a free moment. But, you don’t care about that. You want to know if you should read it or not…well you
...more
Maddie
Apr 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
Truly hated the way this woman writes but I had to read this for work. I was told this book was relevant to the me too movement but it doesn't really seem that way. Blegh. If you're looking for a better feminist read that will actually get you thinking read The Power by Naomi Alderman.
Caroline
***NO SPOILERS***

The complicated and emotionally fraught topic of feminism is the theme of Wolitzer’s newest novel, The Female Persuasion. She did this deftly, making what can be an abstract concept concrete via two main characters. These are a college graduate, a Millennial who represents postmodern feminism; and a Baby Boomer--famous, well respected, and reminiscent of the pioneering Susan Brownmiller. Other prominent characters round out the story in meaningful ways.

To be clear, Wolitzer didn
...more
Jennifer
A smart, pacy book about ambition, magnetism, and mentors. The main storyline follows Greer, a hardworking but unassuming college student who becomes inspired by an aging feminist icon named Faith Frank (modeled after second-wave feminists like Gloria Steinem). After graduation, Faith hires Greer, but Cory and Zee (Greer’s boyfriend and best friend) find their lives moving in less exciting directions. Wolitzer is witty in a way that’s never precious, and I love how she uses third-person narratio ...more
Shigufa Saleheen
Mar 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: on-kindle
*light spoilers*

Today, it was my mission to get through the 464 pages of Female Persuasion because I really wanted to know if this book lives up to the hype! It just got picked for B&N's inaugural book club pick AND the story starts with an excerpt on the first page about being 'the next Great American Novel'. So I threw myself into the story-- and honestly, for the early half of the book, I was super with it!

I quickly saw myself in young Greer as she became exposed to feminism and women's
...more
Darinda
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Greer is a college freshman when she meets Faith Frank. Faith is in her sixties and has been involved with the women's movement for many years. Faith is encouraging to Greer, and even hires her later on in the story. This book follows Greer's journey through college and young adulthood, where she explores her relationships and ambitions.

Told using multiple points of view, but most of the story is from Greer's POV. At the start of the novel, Greer is smart, but she's studying at her backup school
...more
Julie Christine
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read doorstop-sized The Female Persuasion over a weekend, which is a testament to Meg Wolitzer's warm and friendly, piquant and witty writing style. She's not Margaret, after all—cerebral and aloof—or Meghan—adorable and alluring—she's comfortably Meg, and her books have always sort of met me right where I am in my intellectual and social progression. I just looked it up: she's ten years older, so you know, in older sister or boss/mentor territory, but close enough that we speak the same langu ...more
Kate Olson
(AUDIOBOOK) You know how sometimes a book is SO hyped that it’s almost unfair to the actual story? Personally, I know that hype can set me up for unrealistic expectations that no book can live up to.

In the case of THE FEMALE PERSUASION, I’m happy to say that some of the hype was warranted......as in, I listened to the audio version of the book and was thoroughly entertained and invested throughout the entire LONG story. The narration was excellent and I came to deeply care about the characters
...more
Emily
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, feminism
I read this book because Meg Wolitzer came to our feminist book club at Goodreads; it was such a unique experience to have the author participate in a book club meeting about their own book! This was my first novel by this author, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Although the story went off on a lot of tangents-- some more enjoyable and impactful than others-- the book explored the interesting and important themes of friendship, self-actualization, feminism, power, and family dynami ...more
Jillian Doherty
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This delicious and compulsive read that feels like your first high school infatuation~
Remember when you first love - romantic or respect - which you knew so intimately; better than they understood themselves?
That's what this book gives you - its exposed and unrelenting honest portrayal of its characters.

I couldn't put it down, and only was sad when it ended because I enjoyed the read beyond wanting a to see it all nicely tied up in the ending.

I think the story will connect with readers on mul
...more
Eilonwy
2-1/2 stars, rounded up because the writing appealed to me all right (but doesn't make up for the lack of actual story).

Sigh. It's not good when my final opinion of a book is, "Thank goodness I'm done with that!"

I read a glowing review for this in the Boston Globe which made me put an immediate hold on it at the library. And that review must have had the same effect on many other people, because I was number 200-something in line.

Well, I hope those other 200 readers enjoy this book more than
...more
Jessica Sullivan
This deeply layered book explores the relationship between a young woman, her older female mentor and other important people in her life from college through her early 30s.

Greer encounters feminist icon Faith Frank at an event her freshman year of college. Shy and directionless, yet craving a sense of purpose, she’s drawn to Faith’s energy and ultimately winds up working for her after college.

The organization where Greer and Faith work, funded by somewhat shady venture capitalists, puts on summi
...more
Christine Boyer
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Maybe teenage girls?
Oh my. Just closed this book and I'm reminded of one thing: "bestseller" does not equate to "good book". I'm so irritated about this boring, predictable and tedious book right now that I should wait before I write this review. However, I don't want to think about it any more so I'm going to keep this a short and sweet as possible.

From a literary perspective - good god. Nothing, nothing original, clever, witty, or profound written on these pages.

From a story perspective - I've never seen so much
...more
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1,557 followers
Meg Wolitzer is the New York Times–bestselling author of The Interestings, The Uncoupling, The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, The Wife, and Sleepwalking. She is also the author of the young adult novel Belzhar. Wolitzer lives in New York City.
“You know, I sometimes think that the most effective people in the world are introverts who taught themselves how to be extroverts.” 22 likes
“At the podium Faith said, "Whenever I give a talk at colleges I meet young women who say, 'I'm not a feminist, but...' By which they mean, 'I don't call myself a feminist, but I want equal pay, and I want to have equal relationships with men, and of course I want to have an equal right to sexual pleasure. I want to have a fair and good life. I don't want to be held back because I'm a woman.” 10 likes
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