Hello, from wherever you are reading this! Barnes & Noble (top favorite place to shop), is beginning a book club. The first book will be discussed today, over the book The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer. I’m excited to attend the book review tonight, after just finishing the book Monday night. About every Wednesday (or every two Wednesdays, I write oddly styled book reviews, for others to read. My goal is to never reveal the plot. I tend to write about what bothered me the most, or what drew me back into the story. Please feel free to follow me on here on WordPress for future book review blogs!
The Book Itself
Not even twenty pages in, and you can see the writing on the wall: a political, feminist book, in a novel. This is usually not what I like to read, but I’ve been changing what I’ve been reading over the past few months. One of the main characters, Greer, goes from not having a political identity, to having a voice in major feminist events.
Greer, dates her high school boyfriend, Cory, through her entire time in University. While they were dating while attending different Universities. Greer meets a influential feminist during the 2010s, Faith Frank, while she was giving a speech at Greer’s University.
Each character, like most stories, goes through a growth period. While most of the chapters were from Greer’s POV, a few chapters were from other characters POV’s (more on this later). Greer’s was within her relationship with Cory. Greer’s best friend, Zee, her transition was from University life to dating another woman. Cory’s transition (more on this later) came in two parts: first was his post-University life working out of the United States and the second was after a tragic event, that brought him home (from working abroad).
The book ends on a super high, in my opinion. There’s only one or two minor character deaths in the story, which happen all before the last fifty pages or so. Most stories wrap up two styles:
1. Everyone is happy, life is great, new horizons.
2. The ending leads into another book, whether planned or not.
The ending, felt rushed into happiness, as well as portions of the book that just half- explained how we got from being single to four years later, where two people are married, AND they had a baby girl. While the four year gap makes since in some areas, I was quite shocked that those major plot points happened, without much of an explanation. On the other hand, that leaves the reader to fill-in the blanks on how two people went from being single to being married.
Male Point of Views
While the book is about feminism, and how several characters can make small or large transitions within each lifestyle, I struggled with reading five chapters of the book. These five chapters were written from the point of views of two “main” male characters. Both of these men kept creating the same problems (but for two different characters timelines): cheating, porn, life dilemmas, etc.
Not every male human is a terrible human being who has to go through several life lessons. Personally, I felt that the men weren’t treated fairly in this book. NOTE: the men in this book, DID serve a purpose in helping mold the women in the book. I think it was the fact that because the men disrupted the women’s life’s, that the women had to learn from it. You could also say that it was the other way around, but its not a strong point. That the women shaped the men.
The two male characters did have influential mothers and female role models. The male’s didn’t seem to have as much of an influence, I suppose?
This scene was near the end of the book, between Greer and her Mother.
“What, you’re afraid that if you go slow you’re going to become like Dad and me?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“I know you didn’t. But you’ll never be us; that’s not going to happen. And you don’t always have to feel the compulsion to keep striving toward something for the sake of striving. No one will think less of you. There are no grades anymore, Greer. Sometimes I think you forget that. There are never going to be grades for the rest of your life, so you just have do what you want to do. Forget about how it looks. Think about what it is.”
Greer nodded again.”And take a little time doing what now? I don’t have anything.”
“That’s just it,” said Laurel. “Who knows? You don’t have to know yet. Can’t you just wait and see?”
Thank you so much for reading this short summary. I could see myself reading this book again, in about five years. A bookseller told me, when I bought this book for tonight’s discussion, that this book is being scheduled to be made into a movie. That might explain why I didn’t enjoy the ending so much. Works better for a movie, than as a book ending.
Have you read The Female Persuasion? Let the reading world know in the comments below, and I wish you the best this month.
Danielle (Facebook Page)