Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Insidious Insta-classic

Gather the Daughters, Jennie Melamed
This novel has been described as a combination of The Giver and Never Let Me Go.  Neither of those comes anywhere near being as insidious, haunting or dark as Gather the Daughters.  I would say it is more accurate to describe it as what The Giver would have been had it been penned by Margaret Atwood; which is to say Gather the Daughters is beautifully told, grand in scope, unforgettably bleak, and exceptionally disturbing.   And so darn compelling.  Like reading The Wasp Factory, Lord of the Flies, and A Handmaid's Tale -- I recognised early that familiar flavour; I was consuming critic-candy.  This at once sends a jolt of respect and wave of mourning through me.  This is Melamed's debut, and she's produced something unforgettable that will be talked about and circulated!  Buuuut my hands still before giving applause because the subject matter of that talk circulating is so horrifying.  Spoilers follow in the next sentence.  While the commentary is exquisitely handled and undeniably memorable, it features institutionalised incest, rape and pubescent orgies.  I felt the tug to drop this book unfinished over and over, but wanted desperately to know how it would play out.  I'll be haunted for having read it and I'll never recommend it.  However...my reaction to it will be precisely what draws would-be fans to its pages.  "Ange found it horrifying?  I need me a copy."  You know who you are.

Officially out today.
Review copy received from Hachette.

Related Posts with Thumbnails