Book Review: Gather the Daughters

I am so excited to talk about Gather The Daughters by Jennie Melamed. 

This book can not be compared to any book I've read before. It's gritty and takes a lot of bravery to read, and I can't even imagine the bravery it took to write it. It tackles major topics like abuse, politics, leadership and gender roles. 



When a group of "leaders" start a colony and convince their families that there is no one else left in the world, they think they can control everything. But a generation of brave young girls start to wonder: "What is the wasteland and why can't they go?" and they start a revolution to find the why that is behind years of strict rules, abuse and lies.


The wasteland is apparently where the elders go to gather goods. I took it as the place that used to be civilization. The people in the colony are told that the outside world was destroyed by a massive fire but the wasteland still has items left over that they are able to collect. 

In the colony, young girls are forced into marriage at a very young age, usually with men much older. But a few of the girls start  to question all of these rituals. They start to resist the futures that are pressed onto them and a revolt arises, one that is both awe inspiring but at the same time, terrifying. The men that should be protecting their daughters are the very men these girls want to run from. 

Many of the girls try and run from their fathers and the leaders of the colony an in those moments I was so proud of them but then, realizing they were so young, ranging from 8 to 17, I was also very scared. They are on an isolated island with only each other for protection. Their mothers are part of the generation before them that do exactly what the men tell them and are pretty much too brainwashed to help their own daughters. 

You'll want to put down the book out of frustration but your love for the characters will keep you going to the very last page. (There are some very dark details here so this book isn't for the faint of heart). 

I have been recommending this a lot- it's a great read that evokes strong emotions. Major kudos to the author for tackling such heavy topics but doing it in such a beautifully-written way. 

I have read that this book was originally compared to "The Giver" with the same type of dystopian culture, but that was a YA book and this is definitely not for young readers.