SYNOPSIS || GOODREADS
In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there’s a rich Nigerian kid who larks around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power – they can cause agonising pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly.
This extraordinary novel by Naomi Alderman, a Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and Granta Best of British writer, is not only a gripping story of how the world would change if power was in the hands of women but also exposes, with breath-taking daring, our contemporary world.
The Power is an intriguing historical novel with a male author attempting to chronicle the events occurring around him. To add a twist, the author submits the manuscript to a successful female writer by the name of Naomi Alderman, who suggests he acquires a female pseudonym. But The Power is much more than this as it delves into the reversal of gender dynamics on a global scale. But also imagine if, in an instant, teenage girls and some women all across the world start to develop the power to cause instant pain and death by harnessing the ability to exert electric shocks. Women are no longer physically inferior, and their developed power sets the possibility for a new world free of domestic violence and sexual assault.
This novel brilliantly blends a series of different narrative perspectives to gain a full understanding of those involved. There are four different viewpoints from those in the near-future who experience the effects firsthand, including a teenage girl named Roxy, who’s a tough Londoner with a difficult family dynamic. Then there’s a female American politician trying to secure a higher position over her male counterpart and her teenage daughter who acquires the power; another teenage girl suffers at the hands of her foster parents and becomes a martyr for other women, and a Nigerian boy who ends up broadcasting events as an insider to a revolution. There are also several cuts in the story which jump to the future and here editor’s notes and artefacts are added to give this book a sense of historic realism.
The story directly addresses some very important social issues in a unique and original way, combining experiences from across the world to really envision how the world would change if women no longer needed men. The very idea of gender is explored and gender-based behaviours are eventually reversed until today’s gender norms are considered fiction. This is a daring must-read feminist text that successfully fulfils on its promise to expose our contemporary world.
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