Title: The Power
Author: Naomi Alderman
From the back: All over the world women are discovering they have the power.
With a flick of the fingers they can inflict terrible pain – even death.
Suddenly, every man on the planet finds they’ve lost control.
The Day of the Girls has arrived – but where will it end?
The gist: Not knowing any of Alderman’s previous work, I pretty much picked this up off the back of Margaret Atwood’s recommendation and the 2017 Bailey’s prize win . I didn’t know what to expect, and if anything, thought it might turn into a heavy handed feminist tome – the sort of book that people might have on the shelf and say they’ve read to sound sophisticated at cocktail parties while eating salmon canapes by the fistful.
How wrong could I be?
It’s a fast-paced book, and takes a number of different viewpoints and references into the arrival of the electrifying power gained by women. Or, to be more precise – by girls. By using so many different angles into the story, Alderman cleverly knits together a picture of the good and the bad, of the grey areas in-between, and of the troubles that extreme power can bring. Not only that, but she uses letters and extracts to give added depth and flavour. There’s something about that technique that I love – it adds real weight to a scenario, and I haven’t yet seen that done in a novel where it’s not been effective.
Ultimately, for me, it wasn’t a book about feminism (although it certainly does highlight the issues), but a book about power, and what happens with power, and human nature. Male or female, power can be a dangerous thing. And the struggle for power even more so.
It’s the sort of book that needs adding to the re-read pile.
Also, Alderman has written a ZOMBIE EXERCISE BOOK. So, plus points for that. *Adds to reading pile, hopes I don’t have to run too fast*
Favourite line: “The power to hurt is a kind of wealth.”
Read if: You want an interesting read, an exciting read, and one that has enough layers to set you up for the changeable seasons ahead.
Read with: Rubber soles.
Get it: The Power by Naomi Alderman
One response to “On reading: The Power by Naomi Alderman”
[…] Smart, strains of Atwood, appropriately timed lessons on power. Read the full review here. […]