The Power, By Naomi Alderman
Imagine a world where women truly have power. Not just political power, but also the ability to shoot electricity from their fingertips.
That’s the future envisioned in Naomi Alderman’s “The Power,” a dystopian tale told from far in the future when women have run the world for a long time. Using the book within a book framework, her novel is set up as though it’s a historical document tracing the path to that end as women discover and use their newfound abilities.
The story of the women’s rise is told through the eyes of four characters: three women and one man.
The mobster’s illegitimate daughter, the girl who kills her abuser at her foster home and the aspiring politician all develop and use their powers as they rise in this new world order. The lone leading male character is an aspiring journalist who travels the globe documenting the women’s rise to power.
Lest you think a world run by women is all kittens and rainbows, Alderman quickly puts that notion to rest with roving gangs of women who use their power to rape and pillage.
And she effectively portrays the anger and fear of men who don’t want to be displaced and how that ultimately leads to their destruction.
Alderman’s book is a smart, sometimes surprisingly funny, always thoroughly captivating read.