The Power just WON the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction! It’s high time for a review:
In The Power, the whole world changes completely. For once, women are the strongest and this book tells the story of what happens next. It’s a ‘historical’ novel set in the future, describing the consequences of women being able to produce electricity themselves and shock – even kill – people if they touch them.
Have you ever wondered what would happen when women would rule the world? Would it be a peaceful place filled with calmness and serenity? If so – think again. The Power shatters this nice, pink-clouded dream entirely. And I absolutely loved it for doing that.
The book mainly follows Roxy (a British gangster queen), Allie (who, after years of abuse, turns into some sort of goddess), Margot (an American politician out to get more and more power), and Tunde (a young man and journalist who is covering the changes around the world). The story switches every 5-10 pages or so to another person’s perspective, which I found very intriguing and much praise to Alderman (and her editor) for being able to pull this off.
Funnily enough, the Power does not start with the story about these characters. It starts with emails sent by ‘Neil’ to Naomi about this manuscript. Apparently, he has written a novel based on the findings of archeologists. He describes the moment when women found out they had the power, something that is years and years in the past.
In the beginning of this book, I felt that the Power was a great thing. Women could finally defend themselves. But then it all changed. It turned darker and darker and became very, very real as I realised the horrible truth.
Besides shattering my peaceful dream and showing what a world ruled by women would look like, this novel shines a light on our current lives. As Tunde thinks:
“When he walked past a group of women on the road – laughing and joking and making arcs against the sky – Tunde said to himself, I’m not here, I’m nothing, don’t notice me, you can’t see me, there’s nothing here to see.
In his journal, he wrote: ‘For the first time today on the road I was afraid.'”
How many times have I had exactly the same experience as Tunde? And why? Because women are weaker? I think this novel gives the following answer:
Because power is always abused
And why is power abused you ask? Because people can, that’s why.
This book confused me completely. I’m frustrated because of the world we live in and I’m sad because I think The Power is right. And I absolutely loved it.