If you are a feminist who likes radical thought experiments and is okay with stories that depict physical and sexual violence, I recommend you read The Power.
This novel takes a thought experiment — what if women were suddenly physically able to overpower men? — and turns it into a captivating story that left me contemplating whether violence and subjugation is an inevitable part of human society.
So, heady stuff.
This story isn’t for the faint of heart. Many of the women and men who populate this world are flawed, selfish, angry and sometimes vicious. Most have reason to be so. Alderman crafts clear motivations for her characters, and as I read I often felt pulled between empathy and disgust at many of the choices they made. That said, some of the characters and story arcs were a bit simplistic. I wasn’t as drawn into the tale itself as I was the ideas that underpinned it.
While I’m glad I read this novel, ultimately I found the underlying thought experiment more compelling than the story itself. If the idea intrigues you, I’d recommend giving it a go.