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Summer Reading: The Power by Naomi Alderman

by Aggie Swituszak, Product Specialist

As I have gotten older, I have found it increasingly difficult to pick up a book and read in my free time. When I was younger, before the age of social media, reading was much more interesting and appealing to me. Nowadays, I find myself much more interested in watching TikTok Marvel theories and going out with friends. In an effort to reconnect with my past love for reading, I’ve purchased a few books and gave myself the goal to read at least three books this summer.

After much trial and error, and somehow thinking Pride and Prejudice would be an easy and fun starting point, I landed on reading The Power by Naomi Alderman. I had been a fan of dystopian novels as a teen and this one follows a similar path, where one day all women figure out they have an ability to manipulate electricity and electrify people/objects. Where I really fell in love with this book, however, is in the commonality of the rest of the plot. Everything else is the same as it is in the real world, no vampires or werewolves for the girls to have to fight. The novel does not make the woman's ability the sole main point, but it focuses equally on how society would react and adapt to such a change. If such a dramatic change were to occur, how would the government react, social dynamics change, and how would religious groups treat these powers? As women are beginning to scratch the glass ceiling in progressive countries and just being allowed to drive in others, how does the power dynamic shift when women are now “stronger” than men?

The novel follows a few women and one man in their journeys through this new reality, how they adapt, how they change, and how they are shaping the “new world”. With each experience being different, they allow us to see into different aspects of our world and how they change as the years go by. Just finishing this book yesterday, I am wishing there was just one more chapter to keep the storyline going. If this book has left me with anything, it is to reflect and find my own “power” within. Though the power is definitely not shooting electricity out of my hands, we each have something that makes us stand out and makes us special. I had found this book to be an “easy” read and something that I can do in short intervals such as during a work break, before dinner, or when I am sitting outside. I am very glad I challenged myself to pick up reading again and I urge you to do the same!


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