Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Power by Naomi Alderman

In the not-too-distant future, young girls around the world develop the ability to send electricity through their fingertips. This charge can be as light as a static electric shock or strong enough to kill. It is soon discovered that girls can awaken this power in older women, and the world changes almost overnight. The Power follows the stories of four people living through this tumultuous time. Roxy, the daughter of an English mob boss, uses her power to fend off home invaders and soon becomes embroiled in the family business; Allie, an American teen, fights off her abusive foster father and runs away to a convent; Margot, an American politician, must hide her power as new laws make it illegal for women with the power to work in government; and Tunde a Nigerian journalist who travels the world recording and reporting on what he sees. As scientists look for answers, governments try to maintain the status quo and women take to the streets to overturn slights both personal and institutional. Vigilante groups rise up, riots break out around the globe, and women take by force the power that has often been denied and used against them.

The Power provokes its readers to question stereotypes, gender dynamics, and what it means to have power. But don’t expect Alderman to hand out easy answers; she is clearly more interested in sparking conversation and self-reflection, which she accomplishes with aplomb. This is a book that begs to be devoured, passed on to friends and acquaintances, and dissected and discussed at length.

-Portia Kapraun

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