Naomi Alderman’s 2016 novel “The Power” explores what a world where women are the dominant gender might look like. The book begins when women develop the ability to release electrical jolts from their fingers and then follows how they use their new found power to take over the world. The book follows four main characters (Margot, Roxy, Allie and Tunde) as they adjust to their new reality.
This book is such an interesting concept that is so much more than just ‘What if women ruled the world?’ It is an exploration of the power dynamics between men and women and an exploration of how our ‘civil’ society could descend so quickly into anarchy.
I can’t express enough how amazing this book is so here are 5 reasons why you must read ‘The Power”
- Feminism – this is an obvious one, after all this book is marketed as ‘one of those essential feminist works’
- It’s so thought provoking – imagine the GSCE English essays you could write on the themes in this book! Much more interesting than ‘of mice and men’ and Curly’s wife with her red nails, red dress, red everything and what that might represent. Seriously though it really gave my brain a workout.
- If you are a women this book is so relatable – not in the whole being able to shoot lightning from your fingers thing obviously, but the way Alderman presents men and their behaviour towards women in this book. It particularly shines a light on how far we still have to go to get to a place of gender equality.
- If you are a man I think this book should be required reading – I think that the role reversal presented by this book where men are the homemakers and women are the breadwinners presents men with an easier way to put themselves in a women’s shoes (as it were) and how it would be if men rather than women had to live in constant fear for their physical safety.
- GIRL POWER! Seriously this book left me feeling so empowered.
This book is quite a heavy read, exploring religion, rape culture and more. At times women are presented in a very unflattering way but I think that’s what makes this book so brilliant! It makes the book feel much more believable and is a fascinating look at human behaviour. I can see why this won the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.
If this review hasn’t sold you on this book then I highly recommend you go and read some of the reviews here. There are some really great ones, as well as some great Q&A’s.