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Gather the Daughters
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Archive: Other Books > Gather the Daughters - Jennie Melamed 2/5

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message 1: by Nicole D. (last edited Oct 04, 2017 10:02PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Nicole D. | 1490 comments I was searching for a good dystopia for a long drive with Mom. This was touted by Audible as being for fans The Handmaids Tale and The Girls and also Never Let Me Go meets The Giver. The comparisons are LOOSE, I mean, The Girls connection is a cult, and The Giver is dystopia? I don't know.

My poor mother.

The author is a psychiatric nurse practitioner who specializes in working with traumatized children. This is important.

Some time, some place, what amounts to a cult of people move to an Island to live a very simple life. Worship of God is replaced with the worship of the "ancestors" the first settlers of the Island. The 10 commandments are expanded to multiple commandments called the "thou shalts." There are a lot of rules. Insert the plot of any dystopian book here. Repressed, oppressed, led by one strong girl, eventually rebel. Sort of.

There's a LOT wrong with this book, but it took a while to figure it out. Unfortunately we were well deep into the story before we realized the full extent of what was going on, and were hoping for a Katniss Everdeen moment to redeem it, so we finished. For a time, it was engrossing and the storytelling was good; the story wasn't.

Here's mom's review: If you like incest, death and disease you will love this book.

I'm going to completely spoil the book here, so if you have any interest in this book, don't read this part.
(view spoiler)

The society is harsh, awful, abusive; a girl leads a rebellion; a horrible disease ravages the island.

I kept trying to put myself in the shoes of somebody sexually abused to try to understand if there was something empowering in this story, and I just couldn't find anything. It felt so hopeless. Many people really loved this book. I'd like Jen to read it from her psychological POV and Nicole to avoid it because she'd hate it. I'm baffled and really sad because clearly the reality of the authors job birthed this story.

Started strong and promising, disturbing middle, ended horribly.

A note on the audio: The narrator was TERRIBLE. She was so bad at men's voices is was ridiculous. They were all caricatures. I would never listen to anything narrated by her again. Also, she pronounced the word amalgam - TWICE - amul gam.

message 2: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7782 comments Ha! Your mom’s review sums it up nicely.

Nicole D. | 1490 comments I know, I was so upset I had to rant.

message 4: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6546 comments Oh my gosh, your mom takes after you in review quality of bad books. I cracked up.

I read the spoiler. A big part of me wished I had not, but it was great for reading prevention.

Glad I didn't miss one of your glorious two star reviews though.

Can I just send you horrible books to read and review? Please.

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