I devoured The Giver last month and almost fainted when I heard that Lois Lowry wrote more books in the series. So of course it was off to my local library to put in a request because EVERYONE IS READING IT. I can see why–this book isn’t exactly a sequel, but it does provide some unusual counterpoint to the Stepfordian world Jonas inhabited in The Giver.
Gathering Blue begins with Kira, who is mourning the sudden death of her mother. She is crippled with a twisted leg, but she has an immense gift for fabrics, textiles, and sewing. She is sent to live in the Council House to repair the special robe worn by the village singer for the annual council, and while she is there, she stumbles upon several secrets, ones that have the potential to change her life and her place in the community.
Lowry is a really talented writer, and she hits on so many crucial issues in what seems like a “simple” book. She asks us to question the role of art in our lives–how willing are we to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of beauty or craft? What price does the artist ultimately pay for his or her craft (and this is something I found in Cather’s The Song of the Lark, as well)? And, how does reconcile truth with comfort? This isn’t a direct sequel to The Giver, but it does cover a lot of the same ideas. And Kira is an interesting, lovely protagonist. So…I definitely put in a request for Messenger. That needs to get read. Once I thin down my huge stack a bit.