The Power, Naomi Alderman


Although my TBR pile has been growing steadily over the last few months, the books that have been hanging around the longest protested when I saw a tweet from my local Waterstone’s store detailing this novel. I discovered the author was an alum of our nearest university, the UEA, and fickle me, attracted by the short description and the somewhat tenuous link to ‘home’, ordered it immediately.

Women around the world have developed skeins that empower them to control and deliver electrical charges from their hands. Initially, the YouTube sensation is dismissed as fake but soon it becomes very real that women suddenly have a physical upper hand over men.

Although this new-found power is awakened initially in teenage girls, it’s not long before the spark is spread through by touch to older females, their dormant skeins activating.

The book follows the lives of a handful of women and girls, their lives changing and adapting to the new circumstances they’ve found themselves in. There’s also Tunde, a male journalist trying to make a living broadcasting his exclusive reports, exploring the reversal of roles while keeping women from dominating him completely.

It’s an incredible imagination of how the balance of power could shift so quickly while looking at the theme of religion throughout respectfully. The book ends with an interesting take, written years into the future looking back on the role reversal following the Day of the Girls. Women have become the dominant protectors, the bread winners, while the men have become humble submissives.

Can women stop themselves making the same mistakes as men as their power is fed and their hunger for control increases?

Answer: We’re only human.

Fantastic to hear today that The Power has won the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Visit the author’s website.

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