Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
Gathering BlueIn the future, after the world has been destroyed and has remade itself, Kira is mourning her mother’s death. She is lame, and hobbles back to her village after the mourning period is done. The people in her village usually discard anyone who is hurt or weak. Kira had been defended by her mother all of her life. Now there is a nasty, greedy woman who wants Kira cast out of the village.
When they go before the town council, Kira has a defender assigned to her for the trial. He argues that her threading (stitching and embroidery) talent is worthy for the community and she should live to care for the precious coat that preserves their history. The woman leaves angrily and Kira finds herself in a situation different from anything she has known in her short life.
Matt is a young tyke who has befriended her, even following when she moves to the council’s building. There she meets Thomas, another person about her age. Thomas is a carver, and is responsible for the staff that goes with the coat. She learns to dye the threads from Annabella, an old woman of the village. Annabella also mentions some other facts that bother Kira. They go against what she’s been taught all her life.
As she begins to look around her, Kira begins to wonder about life in their village. Why is it this way? The history on the coat shows other societies that were kinder to each other in the past. Why is there a small tyke hidden away from everyone in another room of the building? What are the secrets of the village?
Gathering Blue is a different look at Lois Lowry’s apocalyptic future. It is a counter balance to her award winning book, The Giver. This is a tween to young adult book, like Kira is. Lowry presents a cruel future – only the fittest and strongest survive. Fighting and greed are the way of life in the village. Kira knows she can’t expect anyone to help her even though she’s crippled.
Gathering Blue is written well and catches the reader’s attention to a possible future for mankind. There are some dangling story lines – concluded in the third book of the series, Messenger. Yet Gathering Blue is complete on its own for the most part. Kira has to find the courage to face her own people and look for ways to improve their situation. Lowry gives her the skills needed, but leaves the reader to imagine how Kira will affect their future.