Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry (The Giver Quartet, #2)

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry is a dystopian novel about disability and exploitation in a small village. It builds a strange and compelling world around Kira, where syllables in names denote age and maturity, where orphaned children are redistributed, but not loved.

It's difficult to discuss much in this novel without spoilers, but it is a different society in the same world as The Giver, a society which is limited by whatever disaster broke the world into small enclaves and scattered villages with vastly different organizational structures and coping mechanisms. Kira's village is patriarchal, ableist, and harsh. She was born with a deformed foot and was only allowed to live because of her grandfather's status and reputation.

The world is fascinating, every bit of description feels precise and necessary. The only thing I would want changed is to have the book last longer. It feels... unresolved, but that's probably on purpose. It's trying to be hopeful in a very bleak world, but we don't get to see that hope fulfilled in the way I would have liked. Again, that feels purposeful and it doesn't make it a bad story, just probably not one to turn to for a comfort read.

*Edit: It’s unresolved because it’s book two of a quartet. I’ve found some of what I was missing in book three, Messenger.


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