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Jennie Melamed

NEVER LET ME GO meets THE GIVER in this haunting debut about a cult on an isolated island, where nothing is as it seems.

Years ago, just before the country was incinerated to wasteland, ten men and their families colonized an island off the coast. They built a radical society of ancestor worship, controlled breeding, and the strict rationing of knowledge and history. Only the Wanderers--chosen male descendants of the original ten--are allowed to cross to the wastelands, where they scavenge for detritus among the still-smoldering fires.

The daughters of these men are wives-in-training. At the first sign of puberty, they face their Summer of Fruition, a ritualistic season that drags them from adolescence to matrimony. They have children, who have children, and when they are no longer useful, they take their final draught and die. But in the summer, the younger children reign supreme. With the adults indoors and the pubescent in Fruition, the children live wildly--they fight 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 horrifying, so contradictory to the laws of the island, that she must share it with the others.

Born leader Janey Solomon steps up to seek the truth. At seventeen years old, Janey is so unwilling to become a woman, she is slowly starving herself to death. Trying urgently now to unravel the mysteries of the island and what lies beyond, before her own demise, she attempts to lead an uprising of the girls that may be their undoing.

GATHER THE DAUGHTERS is a smoldering debut; dark and energetic, compulsively readable, Melamed's novel announces her as an unforgettable new voice in fiction.

Jennie Melamed is a psychiatric nurse practitioner who specializes in working with traumatized children. During her doctoral work at the University of Washington, she investigated anthropological, biological, and cultural aspects of child sexual abuse. Jennie lives in Seattle with her husband and their two dogs.

Available Rights

Language Territory Type Agency Client
German World Book Nicole Meillaud
Mohrbooks AG
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8. November 2016, quote
“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

Joshua Gaylord, author of When We Were Animals

8. November 2016, quote
“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 a

Helene Wecker, NYT bestselling author of The Golem and the Jinni

8. November 2016, quote
UK: Tinder Press ; Brazil: Rocco ; France: Anne Carrière ; Hungary: Athenaeum ; Portugal: 2020


8. May 2017, review
[C]ompulsive and suspenseful debut… 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...

Library Journal, starred review

8. May 2017, quote
An intriguing, gorgeously realized and written novel which inexorably draws you into its dark heart.

Kate Hamer, author of The Girl in the Red Coat

8. May 2017, quote
Gather The Daughters is extraordinary, powerful, and harrowing—and yet hopeful in its portrait of the human spirit and the endurance of love. This is a visceral book on all levels and it is haunting me still.

Julie Cohen

8. May 2017, quote
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 and unforgettable debut.

Edan Lepucki, author of California

8. May 2017, review
Melamed is a masterful writer, and she establishes a hauntingly vivid atmosphere…. This is a haunting work in the spirit of The Handmaid’s Tale—but Melamed more than holds her own…. Fearsome, vivid, and raw: Melamed’s work describes a world of indoctrinat

Kirkus, starred review

14. June 2017, review
Melamed's haunting and powerful debut blazes a fresh path in the tradition of classic dystopian works...a searing portrayal of a utopian society gone wrong...Melamed's prose is taut and precise. Her nuanced characters and honest examination of the crueler

Publishers Weekly, starred review

24. June 2017, quote
Excerpt featured, along with Jennie Melamed’s story of the real world inspirations behind the book and how her work with traumatized children lead her to create this powerful novel whose message resonates across cultures worldwide.


24. June 2017, quote
Summer book pick, alongside Arundhati Roy, Sherman Alexie, Maile Meloy, Roxane Gay, and other bestselling authors.

Chatelaine Magazine (Canada)

24. June 2017, quote
GATHER THE DAUGHTERS is one of the Best Book Club Picks for June 2017


24. June 2017, quote
This is set to be one of the big books of the summer. (UK)

1. September 2017, review
Named a top July pick by prominent literary critic Boris Kachka: “Melamed hasn’t written a simple didactic dystopia; her island is more brutal but also more hopeful than the usual brave new world — if only the four girls facing its horrific rituals can le

New York Magazine

1. September 2017, review
[G]orgeous writing… Readers will find dread washing over them as the story unfolds, and will be left catching their breath when the full backstory dawns on them.

Booklist, starred review

1. September 2017, quote
GATHER THE DAUGHTERS was named a People pick of the week and featured in Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly

1. September 2017, review
A chilling, vividly realised feminist novel that propels the reader into the dark heart of a cruelly repressive and sinister society.

Daily Mail, UK

1. September 2017, review
the one book you should read this month!

RED Magazine

1. September 2017, review
Book of the Week! - Spooky, sure-footed debut… It’s a provocative, dystopian page-turner about patriarchy run amok—just the thing to tide you over until the next season of The Handmaid’s Tale.

People Magazine

1. September 2017, review
Gripping, haunting portrayal of girls coming of age and questioning everything they’ve ever been taught.


1. September 2017, review
Best Summer Reading! It is an unexpected event during one of these wild summers which unleashes the novel’s heartstopping dramatic turn and from that point, it’s irresistible. At times harrowing in its depiction of cruelty, at other times joy-filled and b


1. September 2017, review
Best of July. “This summer, don’t miss Gather the Daughters, a novel from a new talent, Jennie Melamed, which has a mood reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, but with a plot and style all its own. “


1. September 2017, quote
Author essay, “How Writing Let Me Take Control of My Own Story”

Literary Hub

1. September 2017, quote
Author essay, "What It’s Like to Have Your Dad Come Out as Gay"

Teen Vogue

1. September 2017, quote
Interview with Jennie Melamed, author of Gather the Daughters


1. September 2017, quote
10 Things I'd Like My Readers To Know About Me - Jennie Melamed writes a piece for us upon the release of her new book Gather The Daughters.


1. September 2017, review
Gather the Daughters is one of the most gorgeous debut novels of the summer. While it bears some inevitable comparisons to certain contemporary favorites—The Handmaid’s Tale, The Giver, Never Let Me Go, even Spring Awakening,—first time author Jennie Mela

Mitchigan Daily

1. September 2017, review
[S]pooky, sure-footed debut… It’s a provocative, dystopian page-turner about patriarchy run amok—just the thing to tide you over until the next season of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Entertainment Weekly

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