I'm not sure what I expected to read when I picked up the book, but let me assure you: this is a treat.
The book features short-form essays (the longest are only three or four pages long) from a variety of women across society, from novelists and journalists to comedians to politicians to barristers to doctors. All of them bring a fresh perspective and a fresh pair of eyes to the question of what it means to be a woman and what it means to be feminist: it really is the fifty shades of feminism promised by the front cover.
The topics covered range from domestic abuse, sexual violence and pay differences, down to women's football, the easy accessibility of violent pornography (which makes 50 Shades of Grey look tame) and the enduring power of motherhood.
The contributors are generous with their praise for others, elegantly angry when appropriate and relentless in their effort to establish the truth.
The essays are stunningly written (I suspect the hand of the editors in establishing a clear, elegant style that runs throughout the contributions) and the stories from women of today are generously interwoven with quotes from feminists and liberation activists from years gone by. Reading through, one is moved from tears to anger to laughter to deep reflection.
This book is well worth getting and reading through time and time again. Share it with friends and talk about the perspectives offered - then walk out from the book determined to do something about it.