The Female Persuasion

Meg Wolitzer

The Female Persuasion
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The Female Persuasion

Meg Wolitzer

Greer didn’t really know why Faith took an interest. But what she knew for sure, eventually, was that meeting Faith Frank was the thrilling beginning of everything. It would be a very long time before the unspeakable end.

Greer Kadetsky is a shy college student when she meets the woman who will shape her life. Faith Frank, dazzlingly persuasive and elegant, has been a pillar of the women’s movement for decades, a figure who inspires others. Hearing Faith speak for the first time, in a crowded campus chapel, Greer - misunderstood yet full of longing for an ambition that she can’t quite place - feels herself changed.

And then, astonishingly, Faith invites her to make something out of this new sense of purpose, with a career opportunity that leads her down the most exciting and rewarding path as it winds towards and away from her meant-to-be love story with high school sweetheart Cory and the future she had always imagined.

Expansive and wise, compassionate and witty, The Female Persuasion is about the spark we all believe is flickering inside us, waiting to be seen and fanned by the right person at the right time, and the desire within all of us to be pulled into the light.

‘The wit, intelligence and deep feeling of Wolitzer’s writing are extraordinary.’ Jeffrey Eugenides


Much like her previous novel The Interestings, I found Meg Wolitzer’s new book The Female Persuasion to be completely immersive. It is centered around two characters: Greer Kadetsky, who we meet as an anxious, striving eighteen-year-old, and Faith Frank, a glamorous, second-wave feminist figure in her sixties who is ‘a couple of steps down from Gloria Steinem in fame’. Greer attends an event where Faith is speaking, and she is instantly dazzled by the older woman’s charm; years later, as a graduate, Greer lands a job at Faith’s newly launched women’s foundation. It is this job that leads Greer to grapple with her relationships, friendships and her very understanding of who she is, and who she wants to be.

The Female Persuasion is a deeply satisfying, intelligent work of fiction. Wolitzer writes with tenderness and precision about all of her characters, and two of the most interesting are Cory, Greer’s long-term boyfriend, and Zee, her best friend from college. A section in the middle devoted to Cory left me weeping so much, I had to put the book down.

This is the kind of big, juicy literary novel that you will press on your friends. It’s packed with ideas, and perfect for book clubs. Highly recommended for fans of Curtis Sittenfeld, Jeffrey Eugenides and Jonathan Franzen, The Female Persuasion is set to be one of the must-read novels of the year.

Nina Kenwood is the marketing manager for Readings.

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