Gather the Daughters

Gather the Daughters

Book - 2017
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On a small isolated island, there's a community that lives by its own rules. Boys grow up knowing they will one day reign inside and outside the home, while girls know they will be married and pregnant within moments of hitting womanhood. But before that time comes, there is an island ritual that offers children an exhilarating reprieve. Every summer they are turned out on to their doorsteps to roam wild: they run, they fight, they sleep on the beach and build camps in trees. They are free. It is at the end of one of these summers, as the first frost laces the ground, that one of the younger girls witnesses something she was never supposed to see. And she returns home, muddy and terrified, clutching in her small hand a truth that could unravel their carefully constructed island world forever.
Publisher: London :, Tinder Press,, 2017.
Branch Call Number: FICTION
Characteristics: 341 pages ;,24 cm.


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Jul 18, 2019

Not my 'cup of tea'.

Mar 31, 2019

Layered and scary, hard to read but hard to put down. I wondered all the way through if there really were "fires" on the mainland, or if the island patriarchy just wanted the inhabitants to believe that. Difficult subject matter, but not graphic in any way. This is one of those books I couldn't stop thinking about.

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.

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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