Review From User :
While Gathering Blue is the second book in The Giver Quartet, it is not a sequel to The Giver. There are similarities, though. Both stories explore themes of physical and emotional pain, individual worth, communal memory, and the role of the governing body of a community -- all, amazingly through the eyes and experiences of children.
I really love the main characters, Kira, Thomas, Matt, and Jo. (I even feel fond of Matt's resilient dog, Branch.) In the midst of the violence and anxiety of their dystopian village, the children remain incredibly calm and reliable; intelligent and thoughtful; gentle, sensitive, and loving. They seem too "perfect" to be real children but nonetheless each day I looked forward to escaping to their world and hearing of their adventures.
I was deeply moved by the vivid descriptions of surroundings and events, both beautiful and horrible, apparently a trademark of author Lois Lowry. Like The Giver, Gathering Blue has strong spiritual overtones. I was astounded by the symbolism which is woven into the story, much as Kira weaves her colourful threads into the fabric of the community's sacred robe. Kira is a girl with a challenge and a gift, and throughout the story there is a sense of divine presence and purpose in her life.
Although this book has been on my virtual "to-read" shelf ever since I read The Giver a couple of years ago, I am glad that I did not rush to read it sooner. It has come to me following a long fallow time, a trudge through a spiritual wilderness, like blue sky after a storm or cool water on a hot day. Its loving tones, its rich symbolism, and its hope for the future in Kira's world have begun to revitalize me and once again, as often happens during the time of Epiphany, when the days have begun to lengthen, I feel confident that the Inner Light will also return.
In her strongest work to date, Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world. It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.