The Power

by Naomi Alderman

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Chapters 29–32 Summary

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Tunde rushes to document the incident at Tatiana Moskalev’s party where the male attendant was made to lick up spilled liquor. The waiter’s name is Peter, and a friend pulls six glass shards from Peter’s throat, which Tunde photographs laid out on a napkin. Peter begs Tunde to stay in Bessapara, saying that Moskalev wants to oust the press. Peter scribbles something on a napkin and hands it to Tunde.

Tunde furtively opens the napkin, which says “They are going to kill us.” Though Tunde knows this is extreme, he feels a twinge of fear. That night, Tunde pitches the story of what happened to Peter to CNN via email. In the morning, he receives a reply from CNN that they are not interested in the story. Other news outlets to which Tunde sends the story also decline for the same vague reason. When Tunde tries to upload a video to his YouTube channel, he finds the site blocked. To preserve his materials, Tunde burns all files onto a DVD which he mails to a former girlfriend for safekeeping. For the next few weeks, Tunde travels throughout the country pretending to document life in Bessapara—though his real purpose is to document what Peter has warned him will soon happen.

Some time after the party, the Ministry of Justice hosts a press release in a shoddily decorated room in the Bessaparan capital. The emotionless Minister reads off a list of new legal provisions affecting all men in Bessapara, including foreign workers and tourists. All men must now carry two forms of identification, one of which must be signed by his closest female guardian, which can be a relative. Men without a female guardian must report to their local precinct offices and will be shackled together with other men until they can produce a guardian. Men will no longer be permitted to travel alone, drive vehicles, gather in groups larger than three, or leave the country without approval. The Minister ends the meeting by refusing to take questions from the stunned journalists.

Back at the hotel, Tunde and several other journalists sit at the bar and discuss their plans. One male journalist says he is leaving while he still can, while another attempts to persuade the first to stay in Bessapara. The female journalists assure the men that they will serve as guardians so that nothing will change. Before going to his room, Tunde asks the bartender to send up a glass of whiskey, handing the man ten fifty-dollar bills. Minutes later, Tunde answers the knock at his hotel door. The bartender brought a glass of whiskey with a coaster, which is actually a counterfeit passport for Tunde. Tunde packs the essential supplies he will need before sneaking out a security door and walking through the deserted streets at night.


Roxy has been missing for several weeks. Mother Eve is upset because Roxy was her only friend, and friendship was a need that she did not even realize she had until Roxy’s disappearance. Mother Eve video chats with Darrell, who says that he is searching for his sister. Mother Eve notices how frail he looks.

Mother Eve argues with her inner voice about how to handle Tatiana Moskalev, who has grown increasingly volatile and unpredictable. Moskalev trusts Mother Eve above everyone else, seeking the advice of the religious leader to ease Moskalev’s fears. Mother Eve has noticed that a fledgling civil war within Bessapara has also begun in pockets around the country. The voice urges her to do what she must to “own the place.”

Moskalev summons Mother Eve to her...

(This entire section contains 993 words.)

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bedroom one night, unable to sleep. Mother Eve uses her power to control Moskalev’s mind and body, getting the president to sign some papers that effectively hand the government over to Mother Eve. She notes that others will soon learn that they can manipulate the mind using the power.


In his sister’s absence, Darrell attempts to run the family business in Bessapara. The women in his employ make him nervous without Roxy around to control them. Darrell lies to the women, saying that Roxy is on vacation and left him in charge.

Bernie is worried that Darrell has not located Roxy. Darrell insists that Roxy is dead, which he thinks is better than the alternative. Bernie asks about Darrell’s skein, which Darrell says is healing nicely. Bernie and Darrell discuss the financial profitability of skein transplant technology, once Darrell can serve as an example of its success.


Jocelyn is now stationed in southern Bessapara, along with other NorthStar battalion members after the US agrees to supply the country with security forces. She has been talking to Ryan again on the internet, and he claims that Margot lied to Jocelyn about him being an online terrorist.

Jocelyn believes Ryan and does some independent research online using the website of a former TV personality who was fired for making comments in support of men’s rights groups.

On this website, Jocelyn finds location coordinates for a site where there is an alleged Glitter manufacturing operation. The website claims that Bessapara sanctions sadistic experiments on boys like Ryan and that US troops are only there to protect the international smuggling operation of Glitter, which NorthStar sells to the military at a markup.

Jocelyn examines the unused packets of purple-white powder that she has been getting from the military, which they claim is a drug to help her particular condition. After the miracle from Mother Eve, however, Jocelyn hasn’t needed the drug. She compares the packets to the photos on the website of Glitter, noting how similar they seem.

Jocelyn requests a half-day furlough and checks out a Jeep, driving forty miles north to the location from the website. Jocelyn hopes to take photographs of Glitter being produced and transported so that she can blackmail Margot into staying out of her love life.


Chapters 26–28 Summary


Chapters 33–34 Summary