The Female Persuasion

by

Meg Wolitzer

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Faith Frank Character Analysis

Faith Frank, the novel’s antagonist and Greer Kadetsky’s foil, is a feminist icon, activist, and writer who got her start in the 1960s, during feminism’s second wave. When the novel begins, Faith Frank is in her mid-sixties, the glory days of her feminist icon and celebrity status largely past, and is mostly travelling around on the lecture circuit, speaking at colleges and organizations and doling out feel-good platitudes that do not at all echo the radical feminism of her youth. Despite her watered-down feminism, Faith has many devoted fans, including Greer Kadetsky and Zee Eistenstat. Eventually, Faith offers Greer a job at Loci, Faith’s new women’s organization devoted to hosting summits and lectures on the topics of feminism and women’s power. Faith and Greer quickly form a mentor-mentee relationship. However, Greer is surprised to find that the organization is somewhat ineffectual and mostly based in spectacles of feminism and activism rather than on-the-ground organizing. When Greer discovers even more corruption within the organization and confronts Faith with her concerns, Faith explains that when it comes to feminism and activism, sometimes one must take what one can get. However, when Greer angrily leaves the company, Faith is finally forced to confront the hypocrisies and failures in her own feminism.

Faith Frank Quotes in The Female Persuasion

The The Female Persuasion quotes below are all either spoken by Faith Frank or refer to Faith Frank. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Riverhead Books edition of The Female Persuasion published in 2018.
Chapter 1  Quotes

Greer Kadetsky met Faith Frank in October of 2006 at Ryland College, where Faith had come to deliver the Edmund and Wilhelmina Ryland Memorial Lecture; and though that night the chapel was full of students, some of them boiling over with loudmouthed commentary, it seemed astonishing but true that out of everyone there, Greer was the one to interest Faith. Greer, a freshman then at this undistinguished school in southern Connecticut, was selectively and furiously shy. She could give answers easily, but rarely opinions. “Which makes no sense, because I am stuffed with opinions. I am a piñata of opinions,” she’d said to Cory during one of their nightly Skype sessions. She’d always been a tireless student and a constant reader, but she found it impossible to speak in the wild and free ways that other people did. For most of her life it hadn’t mattered, but now it did.

Related Characters: Greer Kadetsky (speaker), Faith Frank, Cory Pinto
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

Then, beside her, in the pew, Zee’s arm went up too. Of course she had a real question, a political one; she probably even had follow-ups. Faith nodded her head in their direction. At first it was unclear which of them she was calling on. But then she saw Faith seem to zero in on her, specifically her, Greer, and Greer looked quizzically at Zee, making sure she was reading this right. Zee gave her a quick, affirmative nod, as if to say: Yes. This is yours. Zee even smiled, wanting Greer to have it.

Related Characters: Greer Kadetsky (speaker), Zee Eisenstat (speaker), Faith Frank
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

Greer got busy cutting a perfect cube and then spearing it. To eat meat when you hated it and when you hadn’t eaten it for four years was an aberration, nearly a form of cannibalism. But also, she told herself, it was an act of love. In eating this, she was being someone Faith would want to continue to confide in and listen to and rely on; someone she would want to cook meat for […] Goodbye, cow, she thought, picturing the distant green blur of a meadow. She swallowed hard and forced herself not to cough it up. The steak went down and stayed down.

“Yum,” Greer said.

Related Characters: Greer Kadetsky (speaker), Faith Frank
Page Number: 175-176
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

“I do what I can,” said Faith. “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 practiced 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 early on from the wonderful Gloria Steinem that the world is big enough for different kinds of feminists 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.”

Related Characters: Faith Frank (speaker)
Page Number: 129
Explanation and Analysis:

Faith thought that she didn’t have to like them all, but she also recognized that they were in it together—“it” being the way it was for them. For women. The way it had been for centuries. The stuck place. She sang along with them, her voice coming out in a loud quaver. But it didn’t matter that you quavered; it only mattered that you made yourself heard.

Related Characters: Faith Frank (speaker)
Page Number: 284
Explanation and Analysis:

In bed Emmett smiled lazily, opening his arms and enclosing her. “Come here,” he said, as if she weren’t already right there. But he wanted her even closer, wanted to be inside her at once, an idea that she thought she understood in that moment, because she not only wanted him inside her, she wanted to be inside him in some way too. Maybe even to be him. She wanted to inhabit his confidence, his style, the way he walked through the world, which was so different from the way she did.

Related Characters: Faith Frank (speaker), Emmett Shrader
Page Number: 295
Explanation and Analysis:

Faith traveled easily among radical women, among housewives, among students, wanting to learn, as she said. “What do you stand for?” a very young interviewer from a student newspaper once asked her.

“I stand for women,” Faith said, but while early on this was a good enough answer, later it sometimes wouldn’t be.

Related Characters: Faith Frank (speaker)
Page Number: 302
Explanation and Analysis:

By now it was clear not only that Loci hadn’t kept up with all the galloping changes in feminism, but that the way it presented itself was also a reason for vilification. Loci was doing good business, and naturally people were writing things on Twitter like #whiteladyfeminism and #richladies, and the hashtag that for some reason irritated Faith most, #fingersandwichfeminism.

Related Characters: Faith Frank (speaker)
Page Number: 311
Explanation and Analysis:

The day after Greer Kadetsky had fallen asleep at work and then expressed her work frustrations, Faith had called a meeting in the conference room. They had all sat around the table and she listened as one by one they told her why they had originally come to Loci, and why it felt different there now. They told her about their worries that the summits were elitist, that there was a kind of feel-good feminism in the air.

“I recognize that feminism can’t only be ‘feel-bad,’” said one of the newer hires, “but there’s too much of an emphasis on how everything feels, and less on what it does.”

Related Characters: Faith Frank (speaker), Greer Kadetsky
Page Number: 314-315
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

Greer wondered why Faith was giving her this gig. She remembered something Faith had said to the team once, early on: “Men give women the power that they themselves don’t want.” She’d meant power to run the home, to deal with the children, to make all decisions about the domestic realm. So maybe Faith, like one of those men, was giving Greer something she didn’t particularly want. Maybe Faith had no interest in giving this speech, and so that was why she was giving it to Greer—passing the power on to her in order to get rid of it.

Related Characters: Greer Kadetsky (speaker), Faith Frank
Page Number: 325-326
Explanation and Analysis:

Now Faith appeared like some foil-headed Martian, taking calmly about staying on at the foundation under the aegis of ShraderCapital, which had no problem pretending it was overseeing a nonexistent charity on another continent. “Maybe it’s not moral to keep working for ShraderCapital,” Greer said, actually lifting her chin slightly higher.”

“You think this is just about them?” said Faith. “Don’t you think I’ve had to make compromises before? My whole working life has been about compromise. I didn’t have access to real money until Loci, so I’d never seen it on a big scale. But it happens. All the people who work for good causes will tell you this. For every dollar that’s donated to women’s health in the developing world, for instance, ten cents is pocketed by some corrupt person, and another ten cents no one has any idea what happens to it. Everyone knows, when they start out, that the donation is really only eighty cents. But everyone calls it a dollar because it’s what’s done.”

“And that’s acceptable to you?”

Faith took a second. “I always weigh it,” she said. “Like with Ecuador. I’m ashamed of what happened. But those young women are free. I have to weight that too, don’t I? That’s what it’s about, this life. The weighing.”

Related Characters: Greer Kadetsky (speaker), Faith Frank (speaker)
Page Number: 325-326
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

“These are not shy-person actions, Greer, I’m just saying. They’re something else. Sneaky, maybe.” Coldly, Zee added, “You really know how to act in the face of power. I’ve never put that together before, but it’s true […] You went to work for Faith Frank, the role model, the feminist, and I didn’t. But you know what? I think there are two kinds of feminists. 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. I don’t have a mentor, Greer, and I’ve never had one. But I’ve had different women in my life who I like to be around […] I don’t need their approval. I don’t need their permission. You want to know how often I think about the fact that I didn’t get to work for Faith Frank? Almost never.”

Related Characters: Zee Eisenstat (speaker), Greer Kadetsky, Faith Frank
Page Number: 367-368
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

“We were all put on this earth to row the boats we were meant to row,” she said. “I work for women. That’s what I do. And I am going to keep doing it. I have no idea if this Ecuador story will ever leak. If it does, it will be an embarrassment, and perhaps it will shut us down. But the bottom line is that I’m not going anywhere.”

Related Characters: Faith Frank (speaker), Emmett Shrader
Page Number: 400
Explanation and Analysis:

“It must be a burden to you to be the most important person to people who aren’t all that important to you,” he said.

“I’m not sure I agree with your interpretation. I get a lot from them too, remember.”

“What do you get?” he asked. “I’m curious.”

“Well, they keep me in the world,” she said, and that was all she wanted to say.

Related Characters: Faith Frank (speaker), Emmett Shrader (speaker)
Page Number: 404
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Female Persuasion LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Female Persuasion PDF

Faith Frank Character Timeline in The Female Persuasion

The timeline below shows where the character Faith Frank appears in The Female Persuasion. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 
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...a freshman at the “undistinguished” Ryland College in Southern Connecticut. She is about to meet Faith Frank, but does not know it yet, nor does she know that out of everyone... (full context)
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Greer, looking back on this time in her life, wonders why Faith Frank “recognized and liked” her, Greer wonders if Faith, “at sixty-three a person of influence... (full context)
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...however, wear their shirts all the time—they are both wearing them on the night that Faith Frank comes to Ryland to give a speech. (full context)
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Zee sees an announcement for Faith’s lecture in the college’s weekly newspaper and encourages Greer to come along, even though Faith... (full context)
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In anticipation of the event, Greer looks Faith Frank up on the internet. Greer learns that Faith founded the feminist magazine, Bloomer, in... (full context)
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Greer and Zee arrive at the chapel where Faith is speaking. The venue is packed, and Faith is running late due to bad weather.... (full context)
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Greer finds herself “taken in completely” and wanting more of Faith—listening to Faith speak, Greer thinks, feels similar to falling in love. When Faith opens up... (full context)
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Greer timidly stands up and asks Faith a broad, emotional question. Greer wants to know what she and her fellow students should... (full context)
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When the girls enter the bathroom, Faith is already in a stall. Zee and Greer each head into a stall on either... (full context)
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Greer feels that her moment with Faith is about to end, knowing that Zee will come out of her stall at any... (full context)
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Zee compliments Faith on her lecture and begins gushing about she has “always” been a “super-fan.” Faith shakes... (full context)
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...with it, but she feels that just receiving the card is an accomplishment of sorts. Faith closes her wallet and leaves, bidding both Greer and Zee a good evening. (full context)
Chapter 2
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...on her own campus. She feels that the change is in large part due to Faith Frank, who encouraged Greer to discover new things and make her world “dynamic.” Greer fantasizes... (full context)
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...room at Princeton, Greer considers her “newly adult life,” which, sparked in large part by Faith Frank, is beginning to take shape. However, Greer still finds herself “burrowing into Cory” for... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Greer has come down to New York City by bus to interview with Faith Frank for a position at Bloomer. Though she doesn’t really love the magazine—it has not... (full context)
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...weeks leading up to this moment—after a disappointing job search, Greer finally decided to use Faith’s business card and called the magazine to introduce herself. The next day, Faith’s assistant had... (full context)
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Faith gathers her staff around her and gives a speech, while the stunned Greer looks on.... (full context)
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That night, Greer writes Faith an email, thanking her for her tireless work at Bloomer and lamenting the missed opportunity... (full context)
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Late one night, Greer receives an email from Faith Frank. Apologizing for not having written back sooner, Faith thanks Greer for her kind note... (full context)
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Three days later, Greer returns to New York for an interview with Faith. At a midtown skyscraper, Greer meets Faith’s assistant, Iffat Khan, who brings Greer into Faith’s... (full context)
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Faith goes on to tell Greer that she does what she can in the name of... (full context)
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Faith tells Greer that the foundation will be called Loci, and that they’ll need to assemble... (full context)
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...letter, and she thanks Zee, but Zee informs her that the letter inside is for Faith. Zee is desperate not to be a paralegal and wants to ask Faith for a... (full context)
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Zee rambles about how amazing it would be if they could both work for Faith and share in such an exciting and meaningful job. Meanwhile, Greer realizes that although she... (full context)
Chapter 5
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...perpetually on the outside of what’s really going on at Loci and watches longingly as Faith and the higher-ups meet in the conference room to discuss what seem to Greer like... (full context)
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Greer has come to realize how seductive Faith is to everyone around her—employees included—and how this makes her a powerful figure. Faith is... (full context)
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One afternoon, Faith approaches Greer’s cubicle, and asks Greer to stop by her office later. Greer worries that... (full context)
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Faith tells Greer that she’ll take a look at the blogs but reminds Greer that she... (full context)
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...out that he is here late too. He reveals that he and the “boss lady”, Faith, have “two-person soirees” every once in a while. Emmett tells Greer that he needs the... (full context)
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Greer agrees that Faith is “wonderful.” Emmett asks Greer if she’s a “Faith Frank groupie,” and Greer demurs, telling... (full context)
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...to drink, but it eventually flatlines, becoming “reflective and weary.” As everyone prepares to leave, Faith walks in, and soon the night catches a second wind. (full context)
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Greer is amazed by the way Faith is able to “maneuver her way along the table without moving,” giving each of her... (full context)
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Greer asks Faith if withholding the letter, even now that she has told Faith about it, would make... (full context)
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Faith reveals that Loci will be holding small, private media lunches and dinners around the city... (full context)
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By Monday, Greer has forgotten about Zee’s letter almost entirely, and Faith does not mention it. Several days later, Greer finally remembers about the letter, but she... (full context)
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...her story at the first media party (reciting the speech that Greer wrote for her), Faith comes up to Greer and tells her she has “nailed it.” Greer is excited by... (full context)
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...Though Greer is exhausted, she has finally gotten what she wants—she is busy and useful. Faith believes that Loci’s fate rests on the success or failure of the first summit—if things... (full context)
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On Saturday, the whole Loci group takes the same train up to Faith’s vacation house. When they arrive, Greer is mesmerized by the beautiful house and is surprised... (full context)
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In the kitchen, Faith asks who wants to be her sous chef as she prepares dinner. Everyone raises their... (full context)
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...employees discuss feminism, abortion rights, and the sociopolitical injustices facing women all over the world, Faith chimes in with tales from her early days with the women’s liberation movement. She predicts... (full context)
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Greer is mortified, but Faith quickly attends to her, applying pressure to the wound and then dressing it with ointment... (full context)
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A little while later, Faith lights up the grill. She asks if anyone has a problem eating meat and invites... (full context)
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...the train platform the next morning, Greer, who has been without cell phone service at Faith’s house, turns on her phone. She is confused to see that she has missed over... (full context)
Chapter 6
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...really bad happened.” When he remembered, suddenly, that Greer had told him she’d be at Faith Frank’s house for the weekend, Cory became upset that Greer was busy with her “superhero”... (full context)
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...insists that it’ll “keep.” Cory watches several clips from the summit, and when he sees Faith Frank’s keynote speech, he understands why Greer is so “into” her. (full context)
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...Loci event. Cory realizes that in Boston, Greer will find comfort, friendship, and relief in Faith Frank, and that Faith can provide Greer with the things that Cory no longer can.... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Zee was bummed, but not miserable, when Greer said that Faith had read Zee’s letter but claimed that there were no available positions at the foundation.... (full context)
Chapter 8
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On a mild night in the fall of 2014, Faith Frank arrives at a Chinese massage parlor. Getting a “bracing, vigorous” massage always helps her... (full context)
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Faith finds the foundation’s “excesses” depressing. She believes, and has told Emmett repeatedly, that hosting rich... (full context)
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Faith and Lincoln end their call, and Faith goes into the massage parlor and asks for... (full context)
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Faith was born in 1943—she and her twin brother, Philip, were born just six minutes apart.... (full context)
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Faith begged her older brother to back her up, but he told Faith that he wanted... (full context)
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As college ended, things began to shift for Faith. Kennedy was assassinated, and she and her friend from school, Annie, became more politically minded... (full context)
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Faith lost her virginity at twenty-two years old to a blackjack dealer and was completely underwhelmed... (full context)
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Over the next several months, Faith became involved with a trumpet player, and Annie took up with a comedian. One day,... (full context)
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Later that night, Annie began bleeding heavily. Faith took her to the emergency room, where the nurses and doctors, realizing what was happening... (full context)
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Now, in interviews, when Faith is asked if there was an “aha moment” that made her into the person she... (full context)
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In 1966, Faith and Annie were sharing a tiny apartment in Greenwich Village. They felt like two audience... (full context)
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Faith attended many antiwar meetings, and every time she spoke up, men interrupted her. She attempted... (full context)
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After her first meeting with the women’s group, Faith returned home to her apartment and told Annie about the meeting. When Faith revealed that... (full context)
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As Faith got more involved in the women’s movement, she began making valuable connections—one of her acquaintances,... (full context)
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As Faith and her fellow editors at Bloomer struggled to get their magazine off the ground, they... (full context)
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The executive, Emmett Shrader, offers to take Faith out so that they can “explore the question of ad space” further—just the two of... (full context)
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That night, Faith meets Emmett at a dim club in Greenwich village. They both order drinks with paper... (full context)
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Emmett takes her hand and begins stroking it. Faith has been preparing for this moment but is no longer resolute in her choice to... (full context)
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...and prepares to leave though it is past two in the morning. It dawns on Faith that Emmett is married, and she wonders if his wife was the woman that was... (full context)
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As Emmett dresses, he tells Faith that he feels something for her he has never felt before. He implies that he... (full context)
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...morning, however, when Emmett calls, he does not bring up the ad. Instead, he tells Faith that his wife confronted him when he returned home the previous night and asked him... (full context)
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That afternoon at work, Faith tells her fellow editors that there is not going to be any ad money from... (full context)
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Faith outshines her fellow editors when it comes to public speaking—she is not necessarily an “ideas... (full context)
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Faith’s gift for public speaking makes her into a public figure, and as she travels the... (full context)
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...in Indiana. She wins a Senate seat on a staunch anti-abortion stance, and every time Faith sees her old friend on television, she wishes the world knew the truth about Annie’s... (full context)
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As Faith’s career continues, she becomes aware of her status as an inspirational figure to young women... (full context)
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The next day, Faith calls Emmett and expresses her concerns that the foundation will become a high-end lecture bureau... (full context)
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Now, almost five years into Loci’s short life, Faith is finding it increasingly difficult to get her “special projects” off the ground. ShraderCapital is... (full context)
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Faith recalls a morning when she found Greer Kadetsky sleeping at her desk and asked her... (full context)
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Afterward, Faith approached Emmett with a new special project she had in mind—to rescue a number of... (full context)
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In June of 2014, Faith was informed that her idea was actually going to come to fruition. She was thrilled—mentorship... (full context)
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Now, lying on the massage table, Faith is struck by the idea to turn the keynote speech over to Greer Kadetsky—to let... (full context)
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Faith recalls supporting Greer over the years, as Greer dealt with the emotional fallout of her... (full context)
Chapter 9
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...fifteen minutes. Greer and Lupe are both nervous, and Greer can still hardly believe that Faith is allowing her to deliver the keynote and wonders why she entrusted it to her.... (full context)
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Greer walks out onto the large stage, nervous and quivering. She begins her speech, thanking Faith for the opportunity to deliver the keynote and praising her for giving Greer “permission to... (full context)
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...doesn’t believe Kim, but Kim insists she is telling the truth. She tells Greer that “they”—Faith and Emmett—sent Greer out on stage in LA knowing that the mentorship program was a... (full context)
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...for her. Greer, of course, realizes that she was the one to write the speech—at Faith’s request. She realizes now that perhaps Lupe was not so frightened to get up and... (full context)
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Half an hour later, when Greer gets to work, she heads straight to Faith’s office and asks if they can speak in private, but Faith tells Greer that she... (full context)
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...Greer arrives at the salon, she is led back to a screened VIP area, where Faith sits with her hair wrapped in foils. Greer is shocked to see Faith getting her... (full context)
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Faith asks if the rescue, at least, was real, and Greer tells her that it was.... (full context)
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Greer suggests breaking with ShraderCapital, but Faith points out that doing so would cut off funds completely and prevent Loci from accomplishing... (full context)
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Greer asks if Faith plans to just go back to work and act like nothing has happened. She has... (full context)
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Greer asks once more if Faith is going to just keep working for ShraderCapital. Growing agitated, Faith explains that when one... (full context)
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Faith asks Greer to keep believing in what they are doing at Loci and to help... (full context)
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When Greer and Faith arrive back at Loci, Faith heads to her office, and Greer follows her. She asks,... (full context)
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As Greer heads out of Faith’s office, she realizes that everyone else is staring at her. When she reaches the door,... (full context)
Chapter 10
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...calls, and announces that she has quit her job. She tells Zee that things with Faith ended badly, and that “a lot of shit went down.” Greer cries to Zee, telling... (full context)
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...to tell Zee. She takes a deep breath and tells Zee that she never gave Faith the letter. Zee has trouble understanding or remembering, but Greer explains that she never gave... (full context)
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...all, Zee was the one who “led [Greer] into everything,” and introduced her to who Faith Frank was. Greer confesses that she was so desperate for someone to see something special... (full context)
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...ago. In the time since, she has built a life for herself that she knows Faith would approve of—she does work that matters and often works one-on-one with disenfranchised or traumatized... (full context)
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...other “kind” of feminist, Zee tells Greer that now, she almost never thinks about Loci, Faith Frank, or how Zee missed a shot at working with Greer. Greer asks Zee to... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...happened in New York, and Greer confesses everything. She says she was humiliated by how Faith turned on her in the end, and now Greer feels “destroyed.” She asks her mother... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Faith emails Emmett Shrader to invite him to her apartment, and he knows from the terse... (full context)
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Faith asks Emmett if it’s true that the mentorship program doesn’t exist. Emmett carefully replies that... (full context)
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Emmett remembers that Faith asked him to do a special project concerning sex trafficking in Ecuador, but that he... (full context)
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...One of Emmett’s advisors suggested letting the money sit tight and simply using it for Faith’s next special project, and then urged everyone in the room to keep quiet about what... (full context)
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...attention span, never followed up on what had transpired in that meeting and never told Faith what was going on. Now, Faith tells Emmett that Greer Kadetsky was contacted by a... (full context)
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Emmett reflects on his marriage, which had been the barrier between him and Faith back in the 1970s. His wife had always called the shots—it was her family’s money... (full context)
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After his wife’s phone call to Faith, Emmett did not speak to Faith for forty years. Though he had his share of... (full context)
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Now, in her apartment, Faith tells Emmett that she cannot believe that he steeped their organization in lies simply due... (full context)
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Emmett is relieved. He asks Faith to confirm that no one knows anything about the mentorship program other than Greer Kadetsky... (full context)
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Emmett suddenly remarks that he has done everything wrong—he should have left his wife for Faith when he had the chance all those years ago. He laments all that could have... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...taking some time for herself to mourn the end of her journey with Loci—and with Faith. Greer and Zee have exchanged some emails, and things seem to be “thawing” between the... (full context)
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...to anger. She is not grieving the job, or even Loci, but the loss of Faith Frank as an idol. She tells Cory all of this and explains that she feels... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Greer thinks of Faith often. Greer frequently thinks that she has seen Faith on the street, but it is... (full context)
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Faith is now close to eighty and still works at the foundation, though three years earlier,... (full context)
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Greer often wishes she could get in touch with Faith and send her the latest updates from her life. She wishes that she could tell... (full context)
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Thinking about how she has, effectively, “replaced” Faith Frank, Greer begins to wonder who will replace her one day. She thinks of Kay,... (full context)