Gathering Blue is the second book in The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry. Published 7 years after The Giver, it has been my commuting entertainment over the last week. Initially, I had expected a sequel to The Giver but have been reassured that although not obvious, the 4 stories are linked.
This story was of Kira, a girl with special gifts with a needle and thread who had been born with a leg deformity. Her mother had been widowed and fought to keep her daughter. She was in the process of teaching her to sew and had planned to instil her knowledge of dyeing threads. When her mother unexpectedly became ill and died, she left Kira with only a plot of land. Due to her disability the other women attempted to run her off her land based on the fact that the community culture was to take those with disabilities to the fields to die.
Instead of being discarded to the fields, Kira is given an important job of repairing the robe of the singer. This robe was worn yearly during the song of their history. As she repairs the robe, she learns about the process of dyeing threads and discovers more information about her community and her own gifts.
This novel is thought provoking and makes the reader consider the possibility of life in a future time when civilization as we know it is gone. It is easy to see why middle schools teach The Giver Quartet. The narration was engaging and the storyline was easy to follow in the car. I am looking forward to the next two books.
I think I read somewhere once that Lowry didn’t initially intend them to be linked, which is why the first two don’t appear to be linked at all. But she received a letter from a reader asking if one of the characters in this book was the same from the first, which gave Lowry the idea to officially link them. Sorry, this is so vague – I read this years ago.
Interesting to know. Now that I am listening to the third part, The Messenger, I am seeing the connections.
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