Gather the Daughters

Gather the Daughters

eBook - 2017
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NEVER LET ME GO meets THE GIVER in this haunting debut about a cult on an isolated island, where nothing is as it seems. A New York Magazine best book of the month A Real Simple best book of the month People Magazine's Book of the Week 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.
Publisher: [S.I.] : Little, Brown and Company, 2017.
ISBN: 9780316501408
Branch Call Number: eBOOK OVERDRI
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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If the resurgent popularity of The Handmaid's Tale has you craving more feminist dystopian fiction, get this gem on your list. But be prepared for allusions to (versus explicit descriptions of) disturbing content. Suggested by Denise D.

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SnoIsleLib_DeniseD Sep 05, 2017

Disturbingly imaginable dystopia.


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liljables Jul 30, 2018

This dystopian novel is compulsively readable, despite its extremely dark subject matter. Gather the Daughters explores the culturally-sanctioned abuse of girls and women at the hands of their fathers and husbands in a post-apocalyptic, patriarchal-cult-based society. This might sound familiar - it's certainly a common trope in this genre - but Melamed's take on the subject is shockingly realistic, making this one of the most disturbing novels I've read in recent years. My only complaint is that it seems to live on the cusp between young adult and adult fiction - on the one hand, the four narrators are teens or pre-teens, and the writing is fairly simplistic, while on the other hand, the concept is more deeply upsetting than comparable YA dystopias.

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lrs1107
Oct 24, 2017

Jennie Malamed's GATHER THE DAUGHTERS, is a dystopian, HANDMAIDEN'S TALE-like novel of control, conformity and collusion. The novel raises, for this Reader, images of warm sand turned to cold sand; Summer's full of youthful abandon followed by lives of obedience and oppression; grime and grace; free spirits and brow-beaten conformist; girls/women and boys/men living regimented repressive lives; a rigid paternalistic society based, in part, on father-daughter defilement; a heavy, hard, heart-breaking story of men's control and controlling of a small, isolated, insular island society, exerting it's harshest control over it's women and girls.
This is not an uplifting story but it offers an important lesson (with pin-pricks of hope) in response to modern Americana, filled with its overt and subtle "war on women".

SnoIsleLib_DeniseD Sep 05, 2017

Disturbingly imaginable dystopia.

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