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The Power

Written By: Naomi Alderman

Published By: Back Bay Books

Reviewed By: Melissa Minners

               Some time ago, I sent a friend a powerful film called Disobedience, based on a book by Naomi Alderman.  Little did I expect to receive a novel from that same friend written by the same author.  Knowing how engaging, dramatic and thought-provoking her works can be, I couldn’t wait to dive into The Power.

               Imagine a world where women are the dominating species…where women are in control.  The Power begins in a man’s world – the present-day world in which we live in where the majority of governments are run by men, where men have the upper hand and are seen as the “stronger” of the sexes.  And then something strange begins to happen – women start developing a special power – the power to emit controlled electrical pulses.  It begins in young women, but as the younger generation realizes their abilities, they are able to teach it to the older generations.

               Soon, the power spreads and women come into positions of power.  A young girl, running from a history of sexual abuse, becomes a powerful figure in all of this.  Now known as Eve, she is strong with the power and has an innate ability to know just what to say and how to say it to make people believe in her.  In fact, people believe that she may be the second coming and women all over the world follow her and her new brand of religion.  One such acolyte, Roxy, is the daughter of a mob boss in England.  After seeking out revenge against the people who killed her mother, Roxy looks for more in life and finds it in Eve.  A voice in Eve’s head tells her that this woman will be her soldier at arms and thus, the two become great allies.

               Meanwhile, Margot Cleary has been on the rise thanks to her response to the incidents in which young women are experimenting with their power.  She finds a way to harness this ability, teaching the girls enough control to create a whole militia…a powerful army that will be able to take on those opposed to women’s eventual rule.  This evolution of the female race is something that interests Tunde, a young Nigerian man with hopes of becoming a journalist.  Tunde believes that this new rise in power is amazing and something that should be documented.  To that end, he travels the world, filming women in the act of “expressing” themselves and the men who form an underground revolution to stop them.

               As the various factions supporting and opposing this new women’s revolution collide, what will be the outcome?

               I loved the fact that this book opens with letters from one author to another regarding a historical fiction novel based on a theory of evolution – that of women.  The authors both express that women are in power, but one theorizes that this was not always the case and uses the facts he was able to dig up through thorough investigation as to how women could evolve into what they have become.  I also enjoyed the additional sketches and pictures of artifacts used to support the story.

               As always, Naomi Alderman has created a thought-provoking book.  Many women I know have said that the world would be better if run by the female race.  This book proves that no matter the gender of the individual in power, there are some truths that will remain: power can corrupt; those with power almost always seek more; some of the folks who rise to power are not exactly in the right mind to wield it; those in power always think they are right while those without the power are quick to criticize; and those who lose power will always want to get it back.  No matter the gender, The Power suggests the result will always remain the same.  The individuals with the advantage will almost always lord it over those without and thus, we witness a role reversal for women and men, but nothing much has changed except the gender.  Quite the interesting concept!

               The Power is well-written, the characters well-fleshed out and relatable and the storyline is not something you read every day.  Kudos to Naomi Alderman for an amazing read that I have been recommending to every woman I know.

Check out The Power at Amazon


Published by Melissa Minners

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