Gather the Daughters

Jennie Melamed. Little, Brown, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-46365-2
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. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/22/2017
Release date: 07/25/2017
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-316-46367-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4789-5048-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4789-5045-5
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