The Power

by Naomi Alderman

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Chapter 14 Summary

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Roxy attends her brother Terry’s funeral after the killing of Primrose. Worried about the eyes that are now scrutinizing the Monkes, Bernie insists that Roxy temporarily leave the United Kingdom until she is safe.

Despite her father’s suggestion to visit Israel or the Black Sea, Roxy insists on traveling to South Carolina to the convent of Mother Eve. Roxy has seen videos of Mother Eve on YouTube, and she is determined to meet the mysterious yet charismatic preacher.

Roxy arrives at the convent in spectacular fashion: she walks in the ocean from over a mile away, using her tremendous power to electrify the water in a wide circle around her, killing marine wildlife and plants alike. Watching from a rock, Allie believes the young woman advancing toward the shore is the “soldier” the voice warned her would come.

Allie is surprised to hear Roxy’s British accent, but she is intrigued to learn what made Roxy want to illuminate the sea. Happily surprised to learn that the young woman on the rock is Mother Eve herself, Roxy replies that it was just an “idea” she had.

The girls welcome Roxy into the convent with a hot meal and her own bed. Roxy is charmed by the kindness with which she is treated, something she has not been accustomed to receiving from women. Although she is happy to stay at the convent, Roxy is skeptical of Allie’s religious conviction. Roxy explains that she was sexually assaulted by a piano teacher at seven years old, and her father attacked the man for harming Roxy. Roxy uses this anecdote to illustrate that not all men are bad, as Allie seems to believe.

Roxy confesses that she killed someone back in England, and Allie tells Roxy that police are going to come to the convent soon. Roxy agrees to help defend the convent. Before that time comes, Roxy helps Allie raise money for the convent using her connections in her father's illegal business activities, setting up numerous bank accounts under various aliases so that Allie can access her funds. In a brief flashback, the narrator recounts the story of Roxy’s birth, the circumstances of which led Roxy’s father to believe she is good luck.

When the police officers show up some time later, Roxy handily disarms them using her superior skills, rendering them unconscious but alive. The girls have planned for the men’s arrival, setting up a trap that releases barrels of saltwater onto the carpet—which allows Roxy to quickly incapacitate the men. Afterward, the girls film an especially fervent sermon in which Mother Eve declares that the girls’ victory over the intruders is proof that God is on their side, and She accepts believers of all faiths. This attracts unprecedented attention from supporters all over the world, who funnel donations into the various bank accounts Roxy has set up.

Nearly a month later, a young girl comes to the convent asking for help. She explains that a group of police in town viciously assaulted her mother, and instead of taking the woman to the hospital, the police are holding her in the station. Mother Eve insists that she must help the girl’s mother.

With Mother Eve and the convent girls leading the march, a large group of women from all over town join together and walk to the police station to demand justice. When she arrives, Mother Eve insists on seeing the injured woman. Although he hesitates, the policeman in charge agrees to grant her request if she promises to disperse the crowd.

Seeing that he is outnumbered by the swelling crowd outside...

(This entire section contains 866 words.)

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the station, the policeman also allows Mother Eve to call an ambulance for the detained woman. The crowd outside hoists Mother Eve into the air in celebration as the ambulance approaches.

After the success of the girls’ defeat of the police and their protest for justice, the group has enough money to expand and leave the convent behind. The more hate and condemnation Mother Eve receives, the more support she receives from women who want to believe in her.

Having spent nine months at the convent at this point, Roxy decides to return home after receiving word from her father that it is now safe to do so. Mother Eve asks Roxy to stay, saying that Roxy cannot trust men like her father and brothers. Roxy explains that she loves her family and misses home, but she promises to return one day. Mother Eve advises that Roxy should take over her family’s business.

Not content with the way things are, Mother Eve turns to her inner voice once again for guidance. Mother Eve asks if she can have “the whole world.” The voice replies that she cannot achieve that goal by remaining in South Carolina or confined with her followers. Roxy and Mother Eve have the same idea at the same time and smile at each other.

The end of the chapter contains an illustration of a primitive machine found in Thailand. The caption describes it as a makeshift training device intended for young teen girls to practice using their power to set things on fire.


Chapters 11–13 Summary


Chapters 15–17 Summary