“What starts out as a fantasy of female empowerment deepens and darkens into an interrogation of power itself, its uses and abuses and what it does to the people who have it.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
The Power by Naomi Alderman is a powerful dystopian novel in which the power structures of our contemporary society are switched when young women and girls find they can now channel electricity from their fingers to deliver electric jolts, thus bringing females to the forefront and making them the dominant gender.
The book opens and closes with letters from Naomi to a fictional author named Neil. Using this simple literary device, Alderman successfully begins her flip in the gender power structures before the story itself even begins.
The novel follows several pivotal characters predominately female with one male protagonist, Tunde, a journalist who often finds himself in the middle of the action. The female lead characters, with and without their power are strong and influential, whether it is mentally or physically.
The book’s main plot begins with the character Roxy and right from the off it is action-packed, fast-paced and gripping, a momentum that continues throughout the novel as the story progresses and our characters begin to move together in various exciting twists and turns.
As well as being an intriguing, thrilling and electrifying read, Alderman also uses this book to examine and highlight some of the issues in our current society, in particular with gender politics. By reversing the traditional power structures of dominant genders, Alderman shines a light on the stereotyping, prejudice and fear women face in their everyday lives.
“Already there are parents telling their boys not to go out alone, not to stray too far.”
Naomi Alderman’s The Power is a fantastically feminist dystopian novel with a highly charged, rapid moving, and enthralling plot that is not only entertaining but carries an important message about contemporary society. We are now eagerly awaiting the film adaptation and hope it does this amazing book justice!
Catherine Muxworthy, Booksbirdblog
Added 20th March 2020
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
What a thought provoking read! Woman in control of men!
I have to say I really enjoyed this book. It gave me plenty to think about. To start with, the author seems to think that eventually nothing would change if women had the upper hand in politics, business etc.
Apart from birth giving very little would change at all, one half of the species would be dominated by the other half. Now none of us ‘educated’ people really wants it to be this way but sadly it is and I have to say I see nothing wrong with everyone being equal. Afterall we are all human……aren’t we?
Then there is the religious aspect. For the most part the author blames (if that’s the right word) religion for many of the problems that women faced before the cataclysm. I think she could easily be right too. I can’t think of any modern religion where women head the respected high positions. She then turns this on it’s head so that religion is still the major mover and motivator in her society yet now men are the ones who are mutilated or killed at birth as being seen as unwanted and undervalued. Not a totally different society, just a society run totally opposite to the one before the cataclysm.
I enjoyed how the book was presented in terms of short excerpts from the characters lives but each excerpt was an important part of them coming to terms with the new society. Allie, the abused teenager becoming a ‘messiah’. Roxy, a child that had seen her mother murdered, whose father was a gangster and how she had been drawn into the underworld but eventually saw how everything she was doing was wrong and benefited no one. The others also went through life changing moments.
The finale was a little surprising, I suppose the cataclysm did have to happen and society did have to rebuild from the stone age. I imagine it could never really happen any other way.
A definite read in my humble opinion.
Added 24th September 2017