“A promising but problematic debut.” My review of Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed for Book Munch.
Jennie Melamed’s debut novel, Gather the Daughters, drags us into a strange society on an isolated island where gender roles are twisted and magnified. It depicts a dystopian future, not unlike that in Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, in which the women are kept under strict control and play a very limited role in the society they live in. They are used as wives-in-training until their summer of fruition where they are temporarily cast free to run, fight and set up camp until they must settle with a husband. Then, they must have children, until they are no longer useful.
This small and radical society is kept under the strict rationing of knowledge and history, controlled breeding and destined gender roles; the daughters are wives-in-training and the boys grow up knowing that they will reign inside and outside the home. Narrated by four of the young girls at varying…
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