Never Let Me Go meets The Giver in this haunting debut about a cult on an isolated island, where nothing is as it seems.
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.
Gather the Daughters is a smoldering debut; dark and energetic, compulsively readable, Melamed's novel announces her as an unforgettable new voice in fiction.
Melamed's haunting and powerful debut blazes a fresh path in the tradition of classic dystopian works. In her searing portrayal of a utopian society gone wrong, four girls share their stories of life on a sheltered island where they are ostensibly safe from the war- and disease-torn wastelands that their ancestors had escaped generations earlier. The darker truths behind their heavily patriarchal society in which girls must submit first to their fathers, then to their husbands emerge over the course of a year marked by a devastating plague and a quietly assembled rebellion. Led by 17-year-old Janey Solomon, who is holding her body's development at bay to retain any lingering shreds of adolescent freedom, the island's daughters begin to ask forbidden questions: Why do so many women mysteriously bleed out in childbirth after defying the island's traditions? Is there habitable land beyond their shores? Can any of them choose to stray from their assigned fate? It's a chilling tale of an insular culture grounded in "the art of closing off the world to those who seek it." Melamed's prose is taut and precise. Her nuanced characters and honest examination of the crueler sides of human nature establish her as a formidable author in the vein of Shirley Jackson and Margaret Atwood.
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Gather the daujghters
SCAM! This is an intro to a trilogy or series.
I'm so sick of novels that are just a marketing trick to get you sucked into a a trilogy or series. Stop the awkwardly truncated first novels AND TELL US THIS IS PART OF A SERIES. Let the reader decide if they want to purchase only part of a novel. No wonder print is dying. You scammers are part of the problem.
Disturbing, beautiful, poetic
Although there is a dark and ugly undercurrent within the book, the prose is perfection. I found myself highlighting passage after passage. The characters and scenery were magically crafted. This book will stay with you long after you put it down!