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A smoldering debut about an insular community on an island at the end of the world, and the girls who start to question the rules that bind them.

Years ago, ten men colonized an island off the coast of a crumbling nation, where they built a society based on ancestor worship, controlled breeding, and the rationing of knowledge and history. Generations later, the community continues to follow that vision, and only the wanderers—chosen male descendants of the original ten—are allowed to leave the island.

The daughters of these men have a strictly ordained future. At the first sign of puberty, they face their summer of fruition, a ritualistic season that catapults them from adolescence to matrimony. When their children have children, and they are no longer useful, they take their final draft and die.

But in the summer, children reign supreme. With adults indoors and the pubescent in fruition, the young run, fighting over food and shelter, free of their fathers’ hands and their mothers’ despair. And it is at the end of one summer that little Caitlin Jacob sees something so strange, so horrifying, that she must share it with the others—prompting born rebel Janey Solomon to step up and seek the truth. Trying urgently to unravel the mysteries of the island and what lies beyond, she leads the girls in an uprising that may be their salvation, or their undoing.

With echoes of Never Let Me Go and The Giver, Gather the Daughters is a dark, haunting, and compulsively readable debut, announcing Jennie Melamed as an unforgettable new voice in fiction.

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Praise for Gather the Daughters

Lyrical and ferocious, Jennie Melamed’s Gather the Daughters follows the young daughters of an isolated society who start to question the truths of their world. Melamed paints the joys and anxieties of girlhood with visceral force as the puzzle deepens and consequences multiply. An heir to the speculative creations of Margaret Atwood and Shirley Jackson, Gather the Daughters is a darkly compelling read.

Helene Wecker New York Times bestselling Author of The Golem and the Jinni

In Gather the Daughters, girls and women face a world that is brutal, insidious, and unjust–and yet, hope and resilience persist. This is a lush, vivid and chilling novel. A remarkable debut.

Edan Lepucki author of California and Woman No. 17

Gather the Daughters is a haunting story of an isolated island cult for fans of The Handmaid's Tale, The Girls and The Power. An intriguing, gorgeously realised and written novel which inexorably draws you into its dark heart.

Kate Hamer Author of Girl in the Red Coat

Set on an enchanted island where magic is replaced by Freudian nightmare, Gather the Daughters is an eerie, claustrophobic tale in the spirit of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Grimm’s fairy tales. In her extraordinary first novel, Melamed pulls no punches. The young girls in this story are both victims of violence and perpetrators of it. They are survivors and warriors. Forget your conventional coming-of-age morality tales–this book is about the gory transition from girlhood to womanhood and how difficult it is to balance animal instinct with the pragmatism of endurance. A gripping and elegantly-crafted read.

Joshua Gaylord author of When We Were Animals

Trade Reviews

…A terrifying work of speculative fiction…Melamed is a masterful writer, and she establishes a hauntingly vivid atmosphere. While it may be difficult at first to differentiate among her many characters, by the end they each become clear. This is a haunting work in the spirit of The Handmaid’s Tale—but Melamed more than holds her own. Hopefully her debut is a harbinger of more to come. Fearsome, vivid, and raw: Melamed’s work describes a world of indoctrination and revolt.

Kirkus (starred review) at kirkusreviews.com

Melamed’s haunting and powerful debut blazes a fresh path in the tradition of classic dystopian works…It’s a chilling tale of an insular culture grounded in ‘the art of closing off the world to those who seek it.’ Melamed’s prose is taut and precise. Her nuanced characters and honest examination of the crueler sides of human nature establish her as a formidable author in the vein of Shirley Jackson and Margaret Atwood.

Publishers Weekly (starred review) at publishersweekly.com

…compulsive and suspenseful…This beautifully and carefully constructed work pulls no punches in its depiction of a bleak future; it will attract fans of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and readers who enjoy horror, suspense, and dystopian fiction.

Karin Thogersen (starred review) at libraryjournal.com

International Publishers

United States
Little, Brown and Company
United Kingdom
Tinder Press/Headline