The Power by Naomi Alderman
This is only the second 10/10 rating I have ever given on this blog about a book, and it is undeniably well deserved. Previously when reading other book reviews, I never understood how a book could be ‘breathtaking’ and deemed it an altogether ridiculous phrase to describe a book. Until I read 'The Power’.
I think the best thing about this book and what made it so spectacular, was the fact that I knew nothing about the storyline and bought it based on the fact that I had just finished reading Margaret Atwood’s 'The Handmaids Tale’ when this one popped up as 'like The Hunger Games and The Handmaids Tale combined’ and knew that I had to get my hands on a copy.
To try and preserve the 'surprise’ if you like, I’ll try to make my summary of the plot as general as possible, but enough to convince you that this book is an absolute masterpiece. The narrative follows a society much like today’s, but where women discover that they have all the power, and almost overnight men are cast out and realise that their power has been diminished to nothing. The novel flicks between four different characters, all located across the world in varying countries, documenting the spread of power and rise of women - Tunde, Margot, Roxy and Allie. These four characters all experience different situations and use the power to both their advantage, but sometimes to their detriment.
I can’t stress enough how thrilling and gripping this book is, because I was absolutely spellbound by it. I read it in a day and a half and couldn’t put it down, because at the end of every chapter you are left on a cliffhanger that leaves you gasping for answers and closure.
This novel is so powerful and articulated; it highlights certain elements of our society that are dark and evil, and it is so interesting to see circumstances that some women face reversed and transferred onto men. An utterly incredible novel that I know I am going to be raving about for years to come and recommending it to everyone that I meet - this is definitely a copy that is going to be on my bookshelf until I’m an old woman, and one that I know I will read and re-read for years to come.
Like I said previously, this is only the second 10/10 rating that I have ever given a book on my blog since starting it a year ago, so full ratings are not ones that I give lightly or very often because I make sure that I am critical and honest when I review books, because at the end of the day, the reason people read my reviews is for an honest opinion on a book - so that’s what I give. But if there’s one thing you should take away from this review, it’s that you HAVE to read this book.
Not only is is phenomenally written and very cleverly put together and structured, it highlights hidden and clear injustices within our society that we don’t talk about or consider closely enough - from rape to FGM, Alderman uses this book as a beacon for change by reversing issues that women face onto men and accentuates the importance of tackling these issues among readers.
This novel is wholly deserving of its 10/10 rating and is one that I hope after reading this review, you will go out and get your hands on, because not only does Alderman perfectly create a dystopian world wrapped in satire, she also artfully brings forward the struggles of women around the world. An absolute must read and a book that I will cherish for years to come. Please please please go and read this book!