Reviews

  • "Whoever said feminists lack a sense of humour has not read enough Lewis... A funny, sparky, wide-ranging account... Her book isn’t at all a conventional history. It’s a collection of powerful personal essays on the gnarly issues that women continue to face... I read Difficult Women with gratitude. It’s an authoritative benchmark of modern feminism, written by someone on top of her game... Hooray for a great book by a clever, clear-sighted, straight-talking, difficult young woman."

    Melanie Reid, The Times
  • "Difficult Women was a joy to read... I learned so many delicious facts about women whom I thought I knew. In fact, reading Difficult Women felt like sitting down with a friend and gossiping about other women in our circle... It has some howl-out-loud funny moments... Helen Lewis does more than just tell their stories – she allows them to be complicated, something that women are so rarely permitted to be."

    Jess Phillips, New Statesman
  • "Difficult Women is fully of vivid detail, jam-packed with research and fizzing its provocation."

    Christina Patterson, Sunday Times
  • "Inspiriting and energetic…searching, and bracing...clever and compelling... This is a capacious book... I liked this roominess: it speaks of open-mindedness and warmth. But what I loved most of all is her clear respect for those who went before us."

    Rachel Cooke, Observer
  • "This sensible, forthright personal history of the women who fought for the vote, for equal pay, for women to have control over their bodies, is a breath of fresh air in a feminist climate too often bogged down in petty spats over ideas of privilege and virtue signalling... Lewis’s trenchant, witty voice steers the reader to focus on the details that matter."

    Claire Allfree, Metro
  • "This is the antidote to saccharine you-go-girl fluff. Effortlessly erudite and funny, Helen Lewis tackles the great unacknowledged truth of feminist history: no one ever changed the world by being nice. A landmark in modern feminist scholarship, it manages to be important, irreverent and a joy to read."

    Caroline Criado Perez
  • "Brilliant, from one of the brightest journalists in Britain today. Compulsive, rigorous, unforgettable, hilarious and devastating. Everything but difficult, ironically enough."

    Hadley Freeman
  • "All the history you need to understand why you're so furious, angry and still hopeful about being a woman now. A book that is part intellectual weapon in your handbag, part cocktail with a friend."

    Caitlin Moran
  • "A great manifesto for all those women who have never been very good at being well-behaved."

    Mary Beard
  • "Through her telling of the fascinating histories of Difficult Women, Lewis gifts us with a fresh, whip-smart and compassionate perspective on contemporary feminism. A brilliant and inspiring book."

    Cordelia Fine