Updated: Oct 19, 2021
There have been very few books in my adult life that have pulled me away from literally everything else and dragged me deeper into its story. When I first picked up "The Power", it was on a whim and because the cover held a small sticker that read, "10 Best Books - The New York Times Book Review". I thought to myself, "It must be good to have earned that, so what the hell, I'll give it a try."
Little did I know that I'd be sucked into a narrative that completely took my breath away. Set within a world parallel to our own, Alderman creates a series of stories told across ten years through the voices of some of the most memorable characters I've encountered to date. During a terrible scene displayed before her, one of our main characters, Roxy, discovers that she suddenly has the ability to channel electricity through her body and outwards to whatever she pleases.
"She cuppeth the lightning in her hand. She commandeth it to strike."
As the story continues, we watch as the world evolves around our dazzling cast of characters, including Tunde, an up-and-coming reporter who caught the first video of "the power", Allie, a runaway turned prophet, Margot, a politician with her sights set on doing what's best for her family, and a cast of others who help to tell the tale of this quickly changing landscape.
If you're a fan of "Handmaid's Tale", dystopian literature, and flipping the script on its head, then this book is for you. I cannot say enough how much it opened my mind to the idea of women in power as a direct reflection of how men in power treat women across the world today. It's a striking, gut-wrenching narrative from start to finish.
As a warning, there are very heavy, graphic scenes depicted throughout the novel. In my opinion, the book wouldn't have held the same weight in my stomach without these scenes, but they aren't for the faint of heart. A truly masterful work that walks us through the passions and pains that women everywhere are facing and asks the question, "What if it were different? What if we had the power?"
10/10. Highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new read.