Book Review: The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

4_DiscoBalls

4 disco balls

Published: April 3, 2018 by Riverhead Books
Category: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary, Family Life

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 can only decide that. I just hope you enjoy my comments.

This book actually wasn’t what I expected. Not that I didn’t really know what to expect, but thought it would be the beginning and end of the story of Greer and her mentor Faith: how they came to meet, how Faith would help mold Greer, and Greer rising to power. But, here the supporting characters backstories were part of the narrative and sections were devoted to learning about each one; the story was split into 4 parts: The Strong Ones; Twin Rocket Ships; I Get To Decide; and, Outside Voices. I was a big fan of this structure, although most of the chapters were super long and I often had to stop in the middle of them (which can be a pain when picking back up!).

We navigate Greer, Cory, Zee, and Faith’s lives through finding themselves, settling into careers, and their relationships with each other and outside forces. They experience happiness, grief, success and disappointments and will learn who they are in the face of each; their journeys are different and sometimes not aligned. The writing is authentic and genuine: and strong character development is evident. I enjoyed getting to know these characters and will miss them a bit.

The title can throw you off; I didn’t think this was a book about feminism really, but of people finding their way and learning that what they know – or want to believe – isn’t always as it seems.

If you are attending (or attended if its after May 2nd) the B&N Book Club event, let us know how it went! Or, if you also read ‘The Female Persuasion’ tell us what you thought!

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15 thoughts on “Book Review: The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

  1. I didn’t get a chance to read the book. But, I did go to the book club. It was attended by 10 people. Most everyone read the book. One attendee knew about the feminist movement. Her major was women’ studies. Some of the women were much older in the 60’s, 70’s.Who were involved with the Feminist movement in 70’s. I enjoyed going to the book club. To hear what the other ladies thought of the book. Most of the women agreed what you said. It was a false publicity about the feminist movement. It was mainly a character study. Everyone seemed to be angry about the false sale of the book. I bought the book, and agreed that the reason I bought the book was for the feminist movement. Which I don’t know much about. Some of them felt that the author was all over the place. Skimming every aspect of the Feminist movement. Trying to make up for by saying it was a feminist book. It’s a hot book about the politics I was surprised. Not a heated book discussion with the politics. Perhaps it was more political in NYC. Love it hear how it went up north. I live in SC. Don’t think there is alot of feminist conversation here.

    Barnes and Noble is doing the book club every few months. Most likely to sell their hardcover books. They are in the business to sell books. Some of us felt the books that are picked should be regional. Out of the inaugural book club we got a heavy duty book mark and coffee. I enjoyed myself. Something different and meeting new book nerds.

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    • I am in NJ and at my local B&N only 6 people attended: and out of the 6 only 3 actually read it. Since I didn’t know what to expect, I think my experience was better than someone hoping for a feminist movement type book. It did cover that topic, but more so navigated between two women during different points in their lives and the adversities (if you could call them that because they were all privileged in some way) they experienced with men in power; and what they wouldn’t and would do to support other women. I found myself rooting for Cory and felt his story was written in a tragically beautiful way. We were all on the same page in my group, but I would have been interested to hear opposing views. If you wind up reading it, let me know!

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  2. There are so many characters who stay with me after I leave them. There have been times in my life where I have wondered what some of my favorite fictional characters would do in a given situation and then I tried to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will miss them in the way of wanting to know if they “grew up” yet. Or at least are happy. It’s weird because it wasn’t that they moved me and were special to me in some way, but that it was written that I wondered “where are they now?” I can’t explain it! 🙂

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