Regular price: $24.50

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLER 

"Ultra-readable." –Vogue 

"Equal parts cotton candy and red meat, in the best way." –People

"Wolitzer’s social commentary can be as funny as it is queasily on target.” –Wall Street Journal

"Wolitzer is one of those rare writers who creates droll and entertaining novels of ideas." –Fresh Air, NPR 

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Interestings, an electric novel 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.  

©2018 Meg Wolitzer (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Avid readers of Wolitzer's work won't be disappointed by this new audiobook. The subject matter is timely, and Rebecca Lowman's narration is perfect.... In fact, Lowman often crosses into that ineffable narrative zone wherein she herself disappears and the story alone takes center stage.... Lowman always returns the listener to an empathetic place with warmth and skill." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    198
  • 4 Stars
    102
  • 3 Stars
    55
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    9

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    233
  • 4 Stars
    72
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    4

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    169
  • 4 Stars
    97
  • 3 Stars
    58
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    10
Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Quitting 3 hours in and returning it

I feel like the Wolitzer sat down and said, "Hmmmm. What's a current issue that needs addressing?" And decided on feminism. Not that I disagree. I totally agree. 15 years ago when I was teaching college freshman, in one of my classes, I asked the young women how many of them considered themselves feminists. Not one of them raised a hand. Their opinion of feminism was either negative or they thought it wasn't needed because women were already equal to men, there were no issues between men and women that needed fixing, and there was no need for it anymore. I was appalled and (rare for me) speechless. I wonder what those women think now in our current political climate and the MeToo Movement.

Unfortunately, despite good writing, this feels like a lecture on feminism that Wolitzer tried to make a story out of. The target audience seems to be white, privileged, college-aged girls who know nothing about feminism, what harassment is, what objectification is, etc., and know equally little about themselves.

There was one line about the "male gaze" that the main character initially thought was the "male gays." She actually had to listen to the conversation for a while before she understood it was "male gaze" and what that meant.

There is clearly an audience who probably needs this book, but I'm a few decades too old to be anything but annoyed at being lectured to and listening to a story about a clueless, white 18-yr-olds. This is probably unfair of me since I stopped at hour 3. Maybe it gets better. Maybe it turns out to be excellent. But having read Wolitzer's The Interestings (which was at least interesting) and spending most of that very long book annoyed at the mostly whiny, privileged, New Yorkers...I'm not going to finish a book that is not even interesting.

44 of 54 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Preachy

Another reviewer called this book "strident." I would call it "preachy." I've been a feminist as long as the character Faith Frank and so wasn't fearful of the strident label as many feminists are called that even when they make a small polite peep of truth. This book, while truthful, is tedious and boring in its attempt to describe a history of how some leaders of the women's movement have tried to help women, with lots of information about feminist perspectives on women's issues. I haven't read anything else by this author but know that writers are supposed to "show" and not just "tell." There is too much telling, often in the thoughts of characters. For example, while it is true that the economy pushes women to spend too much money and time on beauty, a polemic about this in the thoughts of a character is not the stuff of fiction but rather non-fiction. And so on. In addition there is a tinge of sentimentality about it all that is hard to define but seems to have something to do with the narrative performance. That said, the best parts are about how the characters react and change according to what happens to them, especially Cory and Zee, but not especially Greer and Faith, who are burdened with thinking and speaking, but mostly thinking, feminist rhetoric.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Meh

I thought it was ok. The story wasn’t that original and I didn’t care for the main character, Greer. I found her full of her self, righteous and obnoxious.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A damn fine read

This is a damn fine read. It's essentially a coming of age story - how a girl whose parents are kind but absent (stoned) hippies goes from uber-achiever in high school, to a woke and ambitious young feminist in New York City with the requisite idealism/celebrity worship, to a self-aware and thoughtful woman.

All of her characters are deeply believable and well-crafted, even the minor characters. Even if you get mad at one, you still root for them.

Wolitzer does a spectacular job drawing the atmosphere of college life at one of these elite institutions - what the friendships are like, how a person comes to learn about wider injustices and form the belief system that will carry them through life, what happens to the friendships when subjected to the "real" world.

Wolitzer also does a great job capturing the arc of hero worship to mentor to betrayal that can happen in so many female mentoring relationships.

My only slight concern was that the ending had a bit of that 19th century "why yes, dear reader, I married him" flavor, albiet with a twist. A little too much having-it-all, a baby thrown in for good measure. Not all of us want a kid.

Enjoyed this well-crafted book immensely and will check out her other work.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

not a grand political statement, but that’s okay

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I loved this book’s subtlety. Its strength rests on the questions it refuses to answer. Can feminism overcome its generational differences? Are newer waves of feminist thought and action doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past? Is Faith Frank a sellout or a realist? I read several reviews of this book after finishing it and many of the reviewers seemed to fault it for its lack of a ham-fisted political message (and I’m not sure reviewer from Jezebel even read the book at all). Wolitzer is an expert at world-building and character development. I felt deeply invested in the fates of Greer, Faith, Cory, and Zee, even though not a lot happened in terms of plot twists and drama. The narration was excellent, especially the rendering of Faith Frank. If you enjoyed THE INTERESTINGS you’ll get a lot out of THE FEMALE PERSUASION, just don’t expect it to make any grand revelations about feminism or contemporary politics.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not at all what I expected...it was better

Any additional comments?

“There are some people who have such a strong effect on you, even if you have spent very little time with them, they become embossed inside of you and any hint of them, any mention of them creates a stir inside of you.”

This was not at all what I was thinking it would be. I could not stop and read it in one day. It’s a great story that shows so many different points of views through the lenses of the different characters.

I love the ending where she talks about how maybe that’s what we as women are supposed to do, pour ourselves into each other...not giving too much...but enough to help build each other up!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Reminder of the person(s) who influenced my life

We come to where we are by following a bright light that may fade but still guides. Well written. Strong characters. Exceptional scene work helped me live it.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A Satisfying Novel

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 carry a room with her knowledge and wit, and her suede boots were enviable. Greer is captivated by Faith, and after graduation goes to work for her, interviewing women for their stories and writing speeches. Her relationship with Faith as her mentor becomes complicated.

Greer and Cory had been a couple since high school.They had planned on going to college together, but that didn’t happen. Cory was accepted at Yale, while Greer was relegated to Ryland college. Though hundreds of miles apart their relationship survived, and they made plans for after graduation. But once again things didn’t work out as planned for either Greer or Cory. Greer’s best friend, Zee who’s is gay, is also struggling to make a difference in the world. She too wanted to work for Faith Frank.

“I think there are two kinds of feminist. The famous ones, and everyone else. Everyone else, all the people who just quietly go and do what they’re supposed to do, and don’t get a lot of credit for it, and don’t have someone out there every day telling them they’re doing an awesome job.”

REVIEW
THE FEMALE PERSUASION is a novel about a young woman who is trying to find her place in the world. It about a woman trying to figure out who she is supposed to be and who she is suppose to be with. It’s about the obstacles in her life that prevented her from achieving the things she thought she was supposed to be doing. While the writing was great I found reading it to be a struggle at times, and my interest sometimes faltered. The story was long but interestingly raised a variety of social issues that played significant role in the narrative: privilege, personal/professional ethics, and family responsibility to name just a few. The modern day feminism aspect of the book left a little to be desired.

The people in Greer’s life, her best-friend, Zee, her boyfriend, Cory and her mentor, Faith, all played pivotal roles in guiding Greer’s decisions and impacting her life. Greer’s character was at times frustrating, she left me waiting for her to evolve into a stronger, bolder character. All characters were well developed and I particularly liked Cory, and how he handled the difficulties he faced after graduation.

Meg Wolitzer is a New York Times best selling author of The Interestings, The Uncoupling, The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, The Wife and Sleepwalking. I listened to the audio version of the book, which was narrated by Rebecca Lowman. Publisher Penguin Random House Audio. Publication Date April 3, 2018.

“I do it for women. Not everyone agrees with the way I do it. Women in powerful positions are never safe from criticism. The kind of feminism I’ve practice is one way to go about it. There are plenty of others, and that’s great. There are impassioned and radical young women out there, telling multiple stories. I applaud them. We need them. We need as many women fighting as possible. I learned that early on from the wonderful Gloria Steinem - the world is big enough for different kinds of feminist to coexist, people who want to emphasize different aspects of the fight for equality. God knows the injustices are endless, and I am going to use whatever resources are at my disposal to fight in the way I know how.”

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent story and reading of it

I loved this book . As a 64 year old but feel much younger, I only lately have begun to think of myself as a feminist. I was stuck in a very bad marriage more like an addiction for 47 years - since 15 . I need to hear more stories about women to completely heal . Thank you for this one!!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Gave it 2 hours.... didn’t want to waste anymore time.

Main character is unlikeable and comes across incredibly entitled when it comes to her parents role in her schooling. Too many women struggle paying for their own schooling and having to maintain a job on top of a good grade point average. I’d rather read about that strength and determination behind those struggles when it comes to feminism. Felt like an excuse for a generation of millennial whininess and it’s not ever cute.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful