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The Female Persuasion: A Novel Hardcover – April 3, 2018
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An Amazon Best Book of April 2018: There’s nothing like a crush – the all-consuming gush of obsession and excitement that shocks the system into euphoria. We often read about romantic infatuation, but in The Female Persuasion, Meg Wolitzer sets her sights on another kind – female friendship and mentorship, and the craving to be heard and admired by the one you admire. It’s a rich and satisfying novel – it will be called timely –about Greer Kadetsky, a young woman coming of age and finding inspiration in feminist icon, Faith Frank, who evolves throughout the novel from abstract celebrity, to boss, confidant and challenger who pushes Greer to confront reality. “Maybe that's what we want from women, Greer thought as her thumb pulsed and percolated with blood. Maybe that's what we imagine it would be like to have a woman lead us. When women got into positions of power, they calibrated and re-calibrated tenderness and strength, modulating and correcting. Power and love didn't often live side by side. If one came in, the other might go.” This novel shimmers with hope and yearning and examines just how potent (and complicated) female support can be in a world that does not always champion women. —Al Woodworth
From School Library Journal
Bright and ambitious, Greer Kadetsky, the child of former hippies, attends her fallback school while her high school sweetheart, Cory, an academic powerhouse, enrolls at Yale. During her first weekend in college, she's groped at a frat party by a serial abuser, and she becomes inspired to stand up for herself by a speech given by Faith Frank, a charismatic icon whom Greer later engages in conversation. Greer's burgeoning friendship with a feminist freshman, Zee, also motivates her. After college, Cory sets off to capitalize on his Ivy League degree in international finance, while Greer reaches out to Faith, and both women embark on a new venture, a foundation to empower and support women around the world. It's a testament to Wolitzer's skill that few characters remain unexplored. Greer, Faith, and Cory are all unflinchingly defined. The three true-to-life protagonists face struggles that will interest young adult readers because of the book's weighty and relevant themes. Here, they will also find a powerful character-driven coming-of-age story told in a stark, wry voice. VERDICT Buy for discerning teens and collections serving academic high flyers.—Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA
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The strangest lacuna in the book is the fact that there is no real relationship between Greer and her "mentor" Faith Frank; I can count on one hand the times they are actually in the same room! This is a novel more about anxiety of influence than female mentorship, and is curiously dated for a novel touted to be relevant in the current climate.
College-bound Greer is desperately trying to find her way all on her own. Her parents don’t seem to be able to offer her any guidance, in fact, they could use a little themselves. Her next-door neighbor, who becomes her boyfriend of consequence, is smothered in attention from his immigrant family. The teens stick together, and plan to through college and beyond.
College is going to be the setting for Greer’s caterpillar-to-butterfly explosion and it’s fascinating to watch how she attempts to follow her developing lifelong dreams.
Enter female mentorship. Is everything what it seems? Can women find what they are looking for even in our modern time? Are women able to give as graciously to each other? What happens when you watch your hero partake in the mundane?
While so many serious issues are confronted, there is abundantly good humor in the book.
A jumble of emotions. That is what I was left with after finishing the book. I fell deeply for some of the characters. Sometimes seething at the parents. Well, most of the time. Not understanding choices that were made by the younger set. But realizing that they were young. Been there. Pained watching the older set as they tried to redeem themselves or make sacrifices. Because. Overall, I was just enamored with the volume of what this book held. How much ground it covered. So much relevance. Everlasting.
There is much great fiction written by women but for me, some stand as landmarks.....Small Changes, The Women’s Room, Meridian, the poetry of Nikki Giovanni and Gwendolyn Brooks...Meg Wurlitzer just hit that mark. What an incredible writer. My patchouli soaked sensibilities are sated.