Power, The

Naomi Alderman
**WINNER OF THE 2017 BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION**What would happen if women suddenly possessed a fierce new power?In THE POWER, the world is a recognizable place: there's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power--they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets.From award-winning author Naomi Alderman, THE POWER is speculative fiction at its most ambitious and provocative, at once taking us on a thrilling journey to an alternate reality, and exposing our own world in bold and surprising ways.


Reviewed: 2018-09-18

Favorite quote: "Gender is a shell game. What is a man? Whatever a woman isn't. What is a woman? Whatever a man is not. Tap on it and it's hollow. Look under the shells: it's not there."

Pretty powerful stuff imagining what would happen if women suddenly had physical powers (wrapped up in religion) to stop men from inflicting harm. Power is power. It begets more power as it branches out and does more and more harm, as it connects more and more people in a cyclic cycle of doom. It would bring about another World War. Weird! Toppling power structures is hard, you say?

I liked all the main protags — Mother Eve (most importantly, the voice in her head), Roxy (Roxy!!!), Jos (poor Jos), and Tunde (oh Tunde).

In many ways, the writing felt too on-the-nose though. While my favorite quote comes from the Handmaid's Tale-esque epilogue, I find this "what if I wrote all the terrible things men say to women with the genders reversed?" excerise tiring. Then again. Many people are in denial about these things. So maybe I should give it more benefit of the doubt.

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