Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Gathering Blue

by Lois Lowry
published: Ember, 2006
pages: 240

Kira should have been taken to the fields and left to die when she was born, but her mother refused to let their village do that.  Now, Kira is left to fend for herself in a society that still believes that she doesn't belong. An almost magical talent with weaving keeps her alive as she struggles with responsibilities and truth.  She discovers things that will change her life forever.

There are some very interesting things about the society that Kira lives in and one of them is how they are named.  Each person starts off with a one syllable name and as they get older a syllable is added on to it.  It's a way that the society represents age and wisdom, which I find fascinating.  There is mention that not many people live to four syllable names so it makes me wonder when exactly syllables are added.

The characters are very interesting and distinct.  I became particularly attached the the young Matt who viewed Kira as an older sister and wanted her affection.  He is sly and cunning, deceiving to get his way when necessary.  He is a product of his circumstances but also has a pure heart, which is made obvious by what he does for Kira.

This book is seemingly unrelated to The Giver, which is the first in this series.  But there are small vague references that connect the two together.  It's fun looking for them and seeing familiar characters and places referenced.  I wondered how everything connected and at the end of this book I'm still left wondering.  At this point it feels more like a companion book rather that a sequel.

Lois Lowry's got something good in the works.  The themes of this book are very similar to those of The Giver.  She is distinctly trying to make readers aware of a very plausible future as a warning.  This world is both good and evil and Lowry's writing makes me want to continue to see which one wins out, if one does in the end.

Stars 3/5 stars


"Lowry returns to the metaphorical future world of her Newbery-winning The Giver... Plenty of material for thought and discussion here, plus a touch of magic and a tantalizing hint about the previous book's famously ambiguous ending."
     --Kirkus Review

"Lowry is a master at creating worlds, both real and imagined, and this incarnation of our civilization some time in the future is one of her strongest creations."
     --Booklist, starred review


  1. Just read and reviewed this myself last week! I loved Matt so much! The only reason I rated this book the same as you was the ending. I knew it wouldn't be directly related The Giver so that wasn't an issue for me but are you going to read the next two? I really enjoyed Messenger and LOVED Son, which tie the first two books all up together and will answer all your questions! Great review :)

    1. I just finished the series and I really enjoyed them all together. Lois Lowry seems to be unable to do wrong!