Genre: Dystopian Fiction
Release Date: July 25th 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
This blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Years ago, just before the country was incinerated to wasteland, ten men and their families colonized an island off the coast. They built a radical society of ancestor worship, controlled breeding, and the strict rationing of knowledge and history. Only the Wanderers–chosen male descendants of the original ten–are allowed to cross to the wastelands, where they scavenge for detritus among the still-smoldering fires.
The daughters of these men are wives-in-training. At the first sign of puberty, they face their Summer of Fruition, a ritualistic season that drags them from adolescence to matrimony. They have children, who have children, and when they are no longer useful, they take their final draught and die.
But in the summer, the younger children reign supreme. With the adults indoors and the pubescent in Fruition, the children live wildly–they fight over food and shelter, free of their fathers’ hands and their mothers’ despair. And it is at the end of one summer that little Caitlin Jacob sees something so horrifying, so contradictory to the laws of the island, that she must share it with the others.
Born leader Janey Solomon steps up to seek the truth. At seventeen years old, Janey is so unwilling to become a woman, she is slowly starving herself to death. Trying urgently now to unravel the mysteries of the island and what lies beyond, before her own demise, she attempts to lead an uprising of the girls that may be their undoing.
What I Liked
Dystopian novels are pretty big right now. You would think they’d start getting old, but nope! Gather the Daughters is the perfect example. The story is set in the near future, yet it feels as though it’s set in the past. People are living without electricity, making their own food, clothing, materials, etc., and strict societal laws are in place.
I love a good dystopian novel. Seeing what the future might become, however unrealistic the story, is always a great read. Gather the Daughters actually reminds me of The Handmaid’s Tale at times, since there is an emphasis on women’s fertility and reproduction.
Gather the Daughters actually reminds me of The Handmaid's Tale at times.Click To Tweet
Gather the Daughters is beautifully written. Melamed’s writing is not straightforward. It lets the reader gather bits and pieces of the full story, implying certain things, and later confirming your suspicions. For example, early in the book, I had my suspicions about what the fathers did with their daughters before they reached puberty. Melamed leads the reader to the right answer as if leaving a trail of breadcrumbs to follow.
Strong Female Characters
Janey, Vanessa, Caitlin, and Amanda are four daughters on the island. They are the narrators of Gather the Daughters. Seeing the world through their eyes makes this future all the more realistic. Life on this island is all these girls have ever known, with the exception of Caitlin. Yet each of them realizes that something is wrong. And in their own ways, they try to change their own lives.
What I Didn’t Like
I usually don’t mind reading books through multiple perspectives. But for some reason, I had a hard time distinguishing between the narrators when I first started Gather the Daughters. Eventually, as the characters developed, it was easy to figure out who was who. But at first they were just names at the beginning of a chapter for me
The ending of the novel felt a bit rushed to me. Even with about 20 pages left, I still felt like there was so much left that needed to be done! And then suddenly, in the very last few pages, the story was over. The ending was also a bit too open-ended for my liking, but that’s a personal preference!
All in all, an amazing book from an amazing new author! Here’s a recap of my review:
I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes dystopian novels! You can find the book here!
An amazing book from an amazing new author!Click To Tweet