Soon after I read Lois Lowry’s Gathering Blue, I headed for Goodreads. I wanted to know what others thought about it. Because I was confused. Genuinely confused. I didn’t know what to make of the book as a whole. And I didn’t know if it was just me. I found out that it was not just me. There are others out there who felt the same way as I did. And I felt relieved.
But then, I came across a comment that very clearly stated that the reason grown ups like me felt the way we did with the book was because we were reading it at an age where it’s not going to make as much of an impact as it should, and that talking about it and making a big deal about it is going to put off others (especially younger ones) from reading the book and enjoying it. And surprisingly, I felt even more relieved to see that comment.
The reason is because, I’m glad that the only reason I did not like the book too much is because I am not appreciating it with the mind of a child. This does not go to say that I believe that children’s books cannot be enjoyed by adults. Quite the contrary. I think that re-reading (or even first-time reading) children’s classics at an older age let’s you look at things and grasp meanings more naturally at that age than when younger. This is true for many books. In fact, some books like Anne of Green Gables just open up a whole new part of my imagination that I did not know existed. But that’s not true for all. Books like Lois Lowry’s Gathering Blue maybe meant to be read at a young age.
That said, Gathering Blue failed to get me excited at all – the characters, the story, the plot, everything just felt flat. It started off with some promise. The story seemed to have a direction. However, as the story progressed, it seemed to lose it’s strength – it just progressively became bland. Gathering Blue is a story about a young orphaned girl who tries to stand up for herself despite her circumstances and challenges, against a society that’s out to destroy her. She soon finds herself in a tough spot. She tries to work out of it, and the story ends with a vague closing that left me wondering.
Would I recommend this book? No, I would not. I just would not. Have you read the book? What are your thoughts on it?