The Female Persuasion

The Female Persuasion

by Meg Wolitzer

Overview: Featuring a reader’s guide and an exclusive personal essay from Meg Wolitzer on how age and generational differences influence our relationships, power, ambition, and our ideas about identity and womanhood. From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Interestings, an electric, multilayered novel about ambition, power, friendship, and mentorship, and the romantic ideals we all follow deep into adulthood, 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

Deanna Boe (08/07/18): This is basically a book for women. This quote should give you a clue: “I’ve noted that when people speak about feminism they take one tack or the other. Our foundation has to look at all of it. We need to keep thinking about the role that economics plays. Because no matter how fair a society is, it’s still going to be women who have the babies. And that sets them up for housewifery and the double day. Even in highly evolved places like Sweden and Norway, women end up doing most of the shit work – though they probably call it something cute – the way IKEA names all its furniture, so it sounds better…..but we need to see things for what they really are.”

The first three chapters introduce you to the main characters: Greer, Zee, Cory and Faith. That part isn’t too confusing, it is the fact the following chapters more or less give you the necessary background to each character, their families and previous lives before they met each other. That is in “Part One” which is then followed by three more “parts” that cover their college years and the few years after. It is while in college that Greer and Zee meet a famous woman’s “lib” person, Faith, who was giving a speech at their college. This impacts their future years and relationships for all four.

Cory and Greer date their senior year in high school. Even though they go to separate colleges (due to a mix-up by Greer’s parents,) they remain close and their relationship survives. Amazingly that continues to hold true when their first jobs place them in different cities, including the fact that Cory’s job has him working overseas! Then tragedy strikes Cory’s life. This is followed by Greer not being honest with Zee. All of this is some how entangled with Faith, the very famous advocate for women’s rights.

Once Greer no longer has her job, she takes time off to abandon herself to reading books – lots of books. She discovered when you read lots of books you don’t “abandon anything, instead you marshaled it all.” This sentence especially caught my attention and made me smile. After I retired from teaching I obviously “abandoned” myself to reading – but now I know I simply marshaled or gathered myself together around books and the enjoyment they provide. Anyway, I am not quite sure how I would rate this book, but in the end I did enjoy it enough to recommend it.
Rating: ****-

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