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Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Gathering Blue" (The Giver, #2)

by Loise Lowry, 2000, 215p, rating=3.5 

"Left orphaned and physically flawed in a civilization that shuns and discards the weak, Kira faces a frighteningly uncertain future.  Her neighbors are hostile and no one but a small boy offers to help. 
 When she is summoned to judgement by The Council of Guardians, Kira prepares to fight for her life. But the Council, to her surprise, has plans for her.  Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, the young girl faces new responsibilities and a set of mysteries deep within the only world she has ever known.  On her quest for truth, Kira discovers things that will change her life and world forever." (book's synopsis)
I had this book mapped out in my mind.  From where The Giver left off, I was sure book #2 would begin with Jonas and Gabriel surviving and finding the mainstream community, like that of our modern civilization... with music, color, and love, and then they live happily ever after.  But book #2 wasn't concerned about telling Jonas's life story or a respite to what might face humankind in the future.  Lowry was continuing to explore the world of a post-apocalyptic society.  In this book, she has created a Village that is hostile to young children, ranks a person by how many syllables are in their name, and casts out damaged individuals to the Forest.  

Set years after The Giver, we are introduced to Kira in this book.  We learn that before she was born, her father went to hunt and was said to have been taken by the 'beast'.  She was born crippled (twisted leg) and according to law she should have been cast out, but her mother Katrina did not let that happen.  Then upon Katrina's strange death (the start of the book), Kira found herself orphaned and faced the mercy of The Council of Guardians to determine her fate.  Fortunately, she was an 'artist' that they needed so they allowed her to stay and she becomes the seamstress to handle the coveted Singer's robe.  She befriends another 'artist', Thomas the Carver.  Also maintains her previous friendship with Matt, a spirited young 'tyke'.  Then she learns from Isabella Annabella, a dye-colorist expert, that there are no beasts in the Forest.  That and upon discovering the mysterious captivity of Jo, another 'artist' (a young girl that beautifully sings), Kari begins to wonder what is going on.  In the meantime, Matt's eccentric character leads him into the Forest where he discovers Christopher (Kira's father).  Before she knew it, Kari was going to get the puzzle pieces together.  The ending of course was another thought provoking cliffhanger!  The seed of hope may or may not flourish.

Once I understood where Lowry was going with this book, I liked the plot.  However, I didn't find the characters as gripping as in the first book ... with exception of Matt, so I'm glad to see that he will have a major role in the third book. 

I am curious to see how Lowry ends up tying it all together.

My quote-ables:
"Take pride in your pain, ...You are stronger than those who have none." pg 22-23

1 comment:

  1. Oh, you should read The Messenger! That's how Lowry ties up Kira's and Jonas's threads.:)


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