Thank You very much to publisher –Tinder Press and Bookbridgr for the review copy.
Genre: General Fiction (Adult) / Mystery & Thrillers
Release date: 25 07 2017
Pages: ~ 341
My rating: 10/10
You can get this book here:
What I learned from this book: No matter how small or big you are, if there are a lot in a crowd, something will change.
Description of the book: GATHER THE DAUGHTERS tells the story of an end-of-the-world cult founded years ago when ten men colonised an island. It’s a society in which men reign supreme, breeding is controlled, and knowledge of the outside world is kept to a minimum. Girls are wives-in-training: at the first sign of puberty, they must marry and have children. But until that point, every summer, island tradition dictates that the children live wildly: running free, making camps, sleeping on the beach. And it is at the end of one such summer that one of the youngest girls sees something so horrifying that life on the island can never be the same again.
How this book made me feel: The first thing which attracted me to this book, was the cover; I think it’s absolutely stunning and incredibly mysterious. The second reason why I picked it up, was the blurb; cult on an island, I was absolutely intrigued with this, and it absolutely drawn me in once I started it.
This book absolutely hooked me with its diverse and complex characters. This novel is told by children, sharing different perspectives of the events happening in the book, and beautifully opening up their personalities and feelings. I loved how Melamed is giving insight into different lives, first of children, and then how it feels, once you are forced into adulthood. There is a great variety of characters to choose from, and everyone will be able to find their favourite. My favourite one was Janey, I absolutely loved her strength and her wish to do something, to change the lives of young girls. All the characters are carrying so much pain and sadness that it literary breaks your heart while reading the book. That’s why, if you are sensitive towards child abuse and incest, you might want to skip this one.
The plot of this book was incredibly well thought through and very amusing. Melamed’s experience with traumatised children was shining through in this novel. The whole narrative travels through seasons, starting in spring and finishing in spring again. Every season brought in different stories and different feelings. I really enjoyed the creative twists and turns in this novel, which made it more enticing and didn’t leave me bored. The topics discussed in this book are endless; every girl shared the issue they were facing, that’s why this book is really fascinating and intriguing. Even though this is a work of fiction, there are some of the described things still happening in this world. For example, child marriage and abusing children as soon as they hit puberty, is still a common practice in South Asia and Middle East, and is absolutely horrifying.
The writing style of this novel is gorgeous and I absolutely loved it. The chapters are decent length and didn’t make me bored while reading. The ending of the book rounded up everything really nicely, leaving me satisfied, but questioning at the same time. I think it is absolutely stunning debut of Melamed and I will be looking forward to read more of her books. So, to conclude, this is a very dark and sorrowful novel filled with complex family relations and children, who want to be children as long as they can. I do strongly recommend this book and I hope people find it as fascinating, as I did.
About Author: JENNIE MELAMED is a psychiatric nurse practitioner who specialises in working with traumatised children. During her doctoral work at the University of Washington, she investigated anthropological, biological, and cultural aspects of child abuse. Melamed lives in Seattle with her husband and three Shiba Inus.
Website – http://www.jenniemelamed.com Twitter – @jennie_melamed
When I received the book from Tinder Press, there was a NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR which I would like to share with you all:
“I want people to finish the book and wonder about human nature and our responses to strange and even bizarre circumstances. If a whole society is committing an aberration, does that diffuse responsibility? How does collective trauma impact an entire generation? What kind of person does it take to rebel against a very constricted culture, especially if their ability to gather information about the world practically nil?
I’d like people to marvel at the creativity and strength of children, despite their physical, mental, and societal limitations. I’ve tried to portray that even in the worst of circumstances; young people are able to find joy, connection, and humour. Even when innocence is violated, it does not mean it is dead, and many children who suffer also find the strength to shine.
Some comparisons could be made between Gather The Daughters and the work of Margaret Atwood, or Lord of the Flies. My book applies clinical psychological knowledge to a speculative world, and the results are, I hope, gripping and unique.”
*-the price was taken from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com at current date. Price might change at your time of purchase. The links used in this post for book purchases are affiliates. #38