Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed
Goodreads Synopsis: 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.
Review: This book won’t be the book for everyone, in fact I already know some readers that didn’t care for it. For me, despite the fact that it was a very heavy read, I thought it was amazing. It had been on my radar since July so I was thrilled to see that it was the August pick for @saltwaterreads . The Giver was my favorite book out of all the required reading I did in school; I read it in middle school. This is like The Giver as a high school, maybe even college, level read. There were some scenes that were so horrific they gave me goose bumps. But the horror is what drew me in. It’s like I’ve been waiting almost 15 years to find another book on the same level as The Giver, and Jennie has answered my prayers. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
Publisher: Little Brown
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Overall Rating: 5/5