Gathering Blue Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Lois Lowry’s Gathering Blue continues the quartet beginning with the quintessential dystopian novel, The Giver, followed by Messenger and Son.
Kira, an orphan with a twisted leg, lives in a world where the weak are cast aside. She fears for her future until she is spared by the all-powerful Council of Guardians. Kira is a gifted weaver and is given a task that no other community member can do. While her talent keeps her alive and brings certain privileges, Kira soon realizes she is surrounded by many mysteries and secrets. No one must know of her plans to uncover the truth about her world and see what places exist beyond.
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|Listening Length||5 hours and 27 minutes|
|Audible.com Release Date||September 16, 2008|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #8,195 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#6 in Fiction About Disability for Young Adults (Books)
#77 in Family Life Fiction for Children
#180 in Fantasy & Magic for Children
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Top reviews from the United States
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While this is the second book in the Giver quartet, I find if only fair to note that there aren’t any characters from the original novel in this book. Set in the same dystopian future Earth, Kira’s village is less advanced and the residents have life harsher. Where the Giver had an almost futuristic feel to it, through their advancements and gadgets, Gathering Blue has a very medieval feel, where all but the most privileged of residents reside in clay and thatch “cotts” with little to no food.
I ended up reading this as part of a Summer reading challenge with my 10-year-old and I honestly can say that I don’t think I ever would have read it otherwise. But now that I have read it, I want to read the remaining two books to see where this all goes. With both Gathering Blue and The Giver, Lois Lowry has created a fictional dystopia that has a hint of real life and modern prejudices and thoughts woven in. No, modern day America does not cast out the infirm, disabled or elderly; but we do have a way of treating them as less of a person unless they have something that we want or a knowledge that we can use. Gathering Blue brings that issue to the forefront in such a way that will cause the reader to think about Kira’s situation and hopefully be kinder to those around them.
Kira, the main character, demonstrates strength and dignity despite her own physical challenges by developing her own skills and unique abilities. In a world where others think and fight only for themselves, Kira builds a small group of loyal friends willing to help each other.
This story is another opportunity for learning and discussion, using new eyes to see old and familiar situations in new light. Although dramatically different from the first book, this installment creates a reading experience filled with new perspectives. Great for teens and parents to explore together.
The Audible narration gave added drama to the written word, why not distracting from the storyline.
Lowry for some reason continues her abrupt book endings that leaves in my mind too much to the imagination. Loved the story but disappointed with the sudden and incomplete end.
Although this is a standalone book, I recommend the series be read in order, even though they have different storylines.
By OakCityBooks on December 3, 2021
Top reviews from other countries
Kira had made friends with an 8yrs old boy Matt, he was always kind to her and was allowed to visit, although taught to stitch by her mother she didn't know how to dye the thread and was sent to Annabelle in the forest, in the room under Thomas he could hear crying, after thinking about what they were doing they realised Thomas, Jo the girl crying downstairs and Kira had mysteriously lost their parents, they were all orphans, Kira wondered how her mother became sick, nobody else was ill
A crippled girl, Kira, lives in a strictly regulated village until she becomes orphaned when her mother dies and sent to “the Fields”, leaving her defenceless among hostile neighbours lacking any communal spirit, which is unusual in a community like this. We begin to find out the functional way of life among her people and how children or “tykes” are regarded - fenced in as they are like cattle while their mothers worked round the house and the men hunted or laboured away from the house. Kira, being “damaged” for her disability, and having lost her father to alleged wild beasts on a hunt just before she was born, should have been sent to the fields to die if her mother had not shown violent resistance. She picks up the weaving trade from her mother, and it is her magical talent that ultimately saves her from being banished and whisked of by the “Guardians” to live in the Council Edifice, a courtly building that is the only urban relic remaining from the past.
Kira’s task as a master weaver and repairer of the Singer’s robe, a ceremonial garment flaunted at the annual Gathering, contains images of the history of the villages, that accompanies the Singer’s epic song like a retelling of it. Her role is monumental because after the repair of the existing painted parts of the robe is done, she is to draw images on the empty portions to fill in the future. She soon finds out she is not the only “artist” on the block, and there is another boy, Thomas, who is kept in another room to work on the Singer’s staff, and together, with the aid of her little friend, Matt, a ghetto boy with his dog, they begin to discover nothing is as it seems and secrets behind the idyll of their newfound comfortable and purposeful lives.
It is remarkable that Lowry builds her story world with seeming ease, for example, in the way the number of syllables in someone’s name places him or her in a specific generation, so a teenager like Kira would have two syllables in her name, her friend, Matt, still a tyke only has a one-syllable name. Kira’s mentor and rescuer Jamison, holds a three-syllable name, while the old woman who teaches her how to colour her threads is called Annabella. It also suggests the evolving identities that are never stable. The locales, like the Fen, which is the village ghetto from where Matt lives, is also true to life in all its poverty and desolation. The sense of unease that pervades the novel, does not go away even when one finishes it, and perhaps that is the point Lowry makes, and what makes this story a hopeful dystopian tale, ironic as the description sounds.
This one is in fact crueler than the society in The Giver. But more straightforward. So being ill or disabled means being left out in a field to die. However some children have gifts, similar to Jonas in The Giver, and those children are removed and looked after to exploit their gifts for the community. Girls and women are oppressed and not allowed an education.
There are some great characters in this, Kira, the main character is very interesting and engaging, and I adored Matt, the naughty little boy with the little dog, and there is a very cute little girl who sings.
Highly recommend this book.