The Female Persuasion

464p. Riverhead. Apr. 2018. Tr $28. ISBN 9781594488405.
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.

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