Friday, January 24, 2020

15. Gathering Blue

Gathering Blue. (The Giver #2) Lois Lowry. 2000. 240 pages. [Source: Library] [Speculative Fiction; Dystopia; children's fiction; mg fiction]

First sentence: “Mother?”

Premise/plot: Gathering Blue is a coming of age dystopian novel. It isn’t an in your face dystopia. It’s much more subtle, quiet even. Readers know that this community is a remnant of a civilization. There is one remaining building that has survived the centuries since the collapse. The community has a primitive feel to it—for a futuristic dystopia. The men hunt in packs; the women weave. If you cannot work hunting, gathering, planting, weaving, then you are essentially kicked out and left for the beasts. Kira, our heroine, has a twisted leg—she was born ‘a cripple.’ Some wanted her to be sent away, left for the beasts. But her mother and grandfather fiercely fought to keep her. Kira was being trained by her mother to weave, to dye thread, to embroider when her mother died. Now that she’s on her own the fight to kick her out has resurfaced. One woman demands Kira’s land should be hers. Kira’s fate depends on her defense attorney. Will she be saved? Can she take over her mother’s job?

My thoughts: Is it fair to compare this one to Lois Lowry’s The Giver? Probably not. Especially if you’re supposed to be wearing your book reviewer hat. Though this isn’t a review copy, so I suppose I can be as subjective as I please! I love, love, love The Giver and it gives off deliciously creepy vibes from page one. Something is way, way off and you know it. Gathering Blue has a post-apocalyptic feel to it. Civilization has been set back hundreds if not thousands of years because of a catastrophic collapse. The creepiness creeps up on you in this one. I didn’t see the potential evil in their midst—the secrets, the lies, the crimes. I just got the sense the people were ignorant and ‘uncivilized.’

Readers get a glimpse of one place that might be ‘beyond’ the sophisticated though evil civilization presented in The Giver.

© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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