For the 2018 book challenge, I had to have a book about feminism. Originally, I was going to read Alias Grace, but my online book club selected The Power for the book to read in April, so I made the switch. I had heard nothing but great things about The Power and was really excited to read it. However, I was really disappointed in the book overall.
Obviously, the “Me Too” movement is huge right now, as it should be. Women have to deal with awful things nearly every day, whether it be stabs to their self-esteem from unattainable supermodel looks to full-on sexual harassment or worse. So, when I started The Power and discovered it really is about women being given the power in the world through a genetic mutation that allows them to shoot electricity from their bodies, I was excited to see what all these women would accomplish. And the answer really is not much. Each of the main female character didn’t make the world better in any way. One was a drug runner, another a televangelist-like manipulative prophet, anohter a dictator, and finally a local politician with a secret. The only male character in the book was the kindest one in the entire story.
Through the discussion with my group, I realize I’m in the minority with these thoughts. I was just really hoping that the female characters would use their new power for good rather than destruction. To try to be better and make the world better rather than to be criminals and manipulative. One book club member pointed out that the power was so new that the women just didn’t handle it well (like a kid in a candy store) but with time, everything would probably settle into normalcy, which is a fair point. But I was just really disappointed that the author chose for women to be portrayed so negatively.