Gather The Daughters by Jennie Melamed

The Blurb On The Back:

Thou shalt not disobey thy father.

Thou shalt not enter another man’s home uninvited.

Thou shalt not raise more than two children.
Thou shalt not touch a daughter who has bled until she enters her summer of fruition.

Thou shalt not allow thy wife to stray in thought, deed, or body.

Thou shalt not allow women who are not sister, daughter, or mother to gather without a man to guide them.

Thou shalt not kill.

On a small island, cut off from the rest of the world, there’s a community that lives by its own rules.  Boys grow up knowing they will one day reign inside and outside the home, while girls know they will be married and pregnant within moments of hitting womanhood.

But before that times comes, there is an island ritual that offers children an exhilarating reprieve.  Every summer they are turned out onto their doorsteps to roam wild: they run, they fight, they sleep on the beach and build camps in trees.  They are free.

It is at the end of one of these summers, as the first frost leaves the ground, that one of the younger girls witnesses something she was never supposed to see.  And she returns home, muddy and terrified, clutching in her small hand a truth that could unravel their carefully constructed island world forever.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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