Dystopian, psychological thriller, Reviews

Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed

Release Date-July 25th 2017
Publisher-Little, Brown and Company
Kindle Edition-352 pages

NEVER LET ME GO meets THE GIVER in this haunting debut about a cult on an isolated island, where nothing is as it seems.

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.

GATHER THE DAUGHTERS is a smoldering debut; dark and energetic, compulsively readable, Melamed’s novel announces her as an unforgettable new voice in fiction.


Gather the DaughtersGather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow!!! where to start with Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed.
This book was completely unlike anything I have ever read. What drew me here initially was the depiction outlined initially in the storyline. the idea of a secret dystopian island, a cult really fired my imagination and I so desperately wanted to know more about this shrouded undisclosed society.
To summarise, we have an island where the ancestors are gods and the wanderers keep order adding to the list of commandments forced on the island’s inhabitants.But in reality, it’s the men that rule mainly the self-important wanderers who seem to be the only ones completely aware of the whole truth that exists here.
In this very different civilisation, There are some very strange custom’s, the children run free naked and covered in mud all summer, it has almost a lord of the flies feel about their summer activities.
As soon as a girl bleeds then she is a woman a child no longer and expected to marry. so here we are talking girls as young as twelve, thirteen marrying older boys of seventeen eighteen.
There is also a very dark undertone beneath island life, fathers are taught to love their daughters literally, this incest is not described graphically it is only referred to in passing, it’s a fact of general everyday life almost like brushing your teeth or combing your hair just normal, so common place,, the rule rather than the exception.
This strangely addicting tale is told through the eyes of several of the young girls who call this
abnormal existence home.
What happens when the sheep who blindly follow their masters question their very existence.
What lies beneath this facade of normality.
When the children start rebelling, it sets off a spiral off events that show the rot under the floorboards.
This was an amazingly interesting read that I really enjoyed. It’s one of those books that you can really sink your teeth into and makes you think more about what we are told versus what we really should ask and should we blindly follow the rules or query the regime we are born in to.
I received a free E-Copy of Gather The Daughters from NetGalley and this is my own honest opinion.

View all my reviews


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