As this blog progresses, we will all see just how opinionated I am. I love rating a book on Goodreads, it’s an acceptable form of judging. So when I tell you that I can’t rate this book, please know, I have put a lot of thought into it, but i think this book is about more than how many stars i can give it.
I can’t even tell you if I liked the book or not, I mean the writing is gorgeous, but the story, it hurt my heart. I think the book overloaded my ability to be shocked and horrified and then broke my feelings valve.
Gather the Daughters is set on a remote island hidden from the ravages of mankind and what the community calls the Wasteland. Many generations have lived on the Island, occasionally the wanderers find new families and bring them in, but all in all the island is very remote, isolated. It’s steeped in tradition, ruled by the Church and Wanderer’s and nobody questions their existence or way of life.
One of those traditions is that every Summer, the girls are let loose, they run free and wild, they sleep on beaches, they explore, play and live. Girls from four can join in this Summer fun, but once a girl gets her period another tradition is waiting for her.
This year a girl, reluctant to head home as the frost hits the ground, sees something that she was never meant to witness, something that could make her question everything she has been told to believe.
We get a feel very early on in the story, that not all is right with the community. We get subtle hints here and there, of whats happening; then we get the big bombshells tucked away so neatly, that you have to go back and reread it, just to make sure you didn’t misread it. Chances are you didn’t. I initially questioned why a few things were so casually mentioned and then I had my light-bulb moment and realised that in this Community, it isn’t a big deal, it’s the way it’s always been, it’s very easy for people not to question tradition and social expectations. It takes a thinker, someone who questions, a rebel if you will, to wonder why life is that way, why can’t it be different. It takes someone who is willing to be labelled and judged, who not just sees the worth in the oppressed, but sees they are actually oppressed to start with.