Review: The Power by Naomi Alderman

January 29, 2018
InToriLex, Book Review, The Power, Naomi AldermanPublished By: Little, Brown and Company on October 10, 2017
Format Read: Hardcover Edition (385 pages)
Genre: Dystopia/ Sci-fi/ Feminism
Series: Standalone
Source: Purchased
The Power
Suddenly - tomorrow or the day after - girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman's extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed, and we look at the world in an entirely new light.

What if the power to hurt were in women's hands?



This was a disturbing reminder of how who has power shapes our society.  One day in the future  women develop the ability to use electricity as a weapon through a skein that develops in their collar bone. This concept forces readers to look at how men abuse women by illustrating how brutal women could be if given the means and opportunity.  Most of the book is spent exploring how the changing power shifts society, so the characters lives were underdeveloped. Despite this I felt emotionally drawn to the characters.
"You have been taught that you are unclean, that you are not holy, that your body is impure and could never harbor the divine You have been taught to despise everything you are and to long only to be a man. But you have been taught lies."
The book's chapters switch between four people who witness how the world changes.  Allie is a mixed-race girl who is worshiped as Mother Eve after escaping years of abuse. Roxy is a daughter from a British crime family. Margot is a American Mayor who is trying to accumulate political power. Tunde is aspiring Nigerian journalist who captures footage of the power in action all over the world. These four watch how power can harm and develop a toxic response out of fear. There are illustrations of artifacts that show men being used as servants and other signs of the power existing centuries ago.

I loved this book, it tells a cautionary tale about how power can be harmful, no matter how well meaning people with power may be. This book is for mature readers because it describes disturbing sexual violence. The horror is made the issues it explored more compelling and memorable. The smart and brave female protagonists were inspiring because they were allowed to live and act without fear. The characters were diverse and the book included settings from around the world. It's great to read a book that is inclusive of the different people and places that may read it. I would recommend this to readers who enjoy stories that make important philosophical parallels to our own world. It was a sad but inspiring read, I will never forget.  


 Naomi Alderman (born 1974 in London) is a British author and novelist.

Alderman was educated at South Hampstead High School and Lincoln College, Oxford where she read Philosophy, Politics and Economics. She then went on to study creative writing at the University of East Anglia before becoming a novelist.
She was the lead writer for Perplex City, an Alternate reality game, at Mind Candy from 2004 through June, 2007.[1]
Her father is Geoffrey Alderman, an academic who has specialised in Anglo-Jewish history. She and her father were interviewed in The Sunday Times "Relative Values" feature on 11 February 2007.[2]

Her literary debut came in 2006 with Disobedience, a well-received (if controversial) novel about a rabbi's daughter from North London who becomes a lesbian, which won her the 2006 Orange Award for New Writers.
Since its publication in the United Kingdom, it has been issued in the USA, Germany, Israel, Holland, Poland and France and is due to be published in Italy, Hungary and Croatia.
She wrote the narrative for The Winter House, an online, interactive yet linear short story visualized by Jey Biddulph. The project was commissioned by Booktrust as part of the Story campaign, supported by Arts Council England.


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