Review: The Power by Naomi Alderman

The Power by Naomi Alderman

Rating –  4.7 out of 5

In a world much like our own, women of all backgrounds suddenly develop the ability to conduct electricity through their bodies. What follows is told through the eyes of several people as this shift causes imbalances of physical power throughout the world. Women take control of major governments, social structures and change the fabric of society. This book tells a story about shifting power dynamics and physical power which relates to our real world today.

Favorite Quote

“This is the trouble with history. You can’t see what’s not there. You can look at an empty space and see that something’s missing, but there’s no way to know what it was.”

― Naomi Alderman, The Power

Why I liked The Power by Naomi Alderman

This book blew my mind! I have been putting off reading this book for a while due to just a general disinterest in what felt like a gimmick. While the plot of the book sounded like a straight-forward YA thought-experiment, this book in actuality is anything but. I found it to be a searing indictment to how power plays a role in our perceptions of reality. It also highlighted with cruel accuracy how those with power in the world are able to manipulate and destroy those without power. The overall aesthetic of the novel is harsh and direct which lent itself to Naomi Alderman telling a shocking story.

While the book is based upon a power shift between genders I found that I came away from the end of the book thinking much more about what happens when existing power structures are destabilized. I liked that this book used the dynamic between men and women as related to physical strength, but the broader picture also stood out. While I was pulled in by the premise, to begin with, but I found this book remarkable because of the way it related to our broader society and structure and not just one issue. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a greater understanding of power and its role in human society.

And the last line! I still talk about it. I will always talk about it and how Alderman is impressively succinct and cutting.

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