The Power by Naomi Alderman

Have you ever read a book that makes you really speculate about the world you live in? This story does just that.

It focuses on the lives of 4 main characters, 3 women and 1 man who live in a world where women have just acquired the ability to send out electrical shocks of varying degrees from their fingertips. This power seems to occur during puberty and the young can spark it awake in the older women.

We have the narrative of

Allie- a teenager from a religious and abusive foster home who is on the run and hears the voice of Goddess which brings her to becoming a faith leader called Mother Eve.

Roxy- the daughter of a London crime boss whose power is unparalleled.

Margot- an American politician ambitious to rise to the top. She has a daughter, Jocelyn, who has trouble controlling her own power and wakes the power within Margot.

Tunde- a Nigerian journalist who sees the opportunity to document this movement from all sides around the world. He has a unique chance, but has to carefully walk the line in this new world.

The book begins and ends with letters from a man named Neil to Naomi. He has written this book thousands of years in the future and sends it to her to read. It’s used as a way to show intellectual property theft, albeit fictional as we see it is Naomi’s name on the novel.

There are so many questions the novel generates. What would the world be like if women held the power? Would things be less violent? Would they run more efficiently? Why do we seek power? As asked in the novel, “what is a man?”…”what is a woman?” Why do we abuse power?

The Power provokes serious reflection and discussion. It has made me contemplate gender roles, balance of power, religious iconography, abuse, tolerance and how we are more alike, as not man or woman, but as humans than we have ever believed.

Yinz enjoy!