Sep 23, 2008

Gossamer by Lois Lowry (and thank you!)

Littlest One is one of the dream givers. As her name indicates, she’s still a young one, still in training. Every night, she and her mentor visit the house of an elderly lady who lives alone with her dog Toby and give her dreams. This is what the dream givers do:
“Through touching, they gather materials: memories, colors, words once spoken, hints of scent and the tiniest fragments of forgotten sound. They collect pieces of the past, of long ago and of yesterday. They combine these things carefully, creating dreams. Then they insert the dreams as the humans (and sometimes animals, for occasionally they give dreams to pets, as well) sleep.”
Their dark counterparts are the Sinisteeds, sinister creatures that inflict painful nightmares upon their victims. The Sinisteeds are attracted to the house Littlest One and Thin Elderly visit when the lady who lives there decides to look after a troubled eight year old boy, John. Brought up by an abusive father and a frightened mother, John has known little but fear, rejection and violence for his whole life. Now he’s being taken good care of for the first time, but emotionally he’s still very fragile, and he hesitates to trust even those who show him nothing but kindness.

The premise behind this story is that while good dreams strengthen the dreamers emotionally, nightmares wear them down, eventually leading to an emotional breakdown. Littlest One and Thin Elderly must fight with all their strength to free John from the influence of the Sinisteeds.

With Gossamer, Lois Lowry managed to create a story that is both sinister and warm. While not quite as masterful as The Giver, this book explores some of the same themes: memory, and the importance of having a wide emotional range, of accepting sorrow and loss as well as joy. And like in The Giver, these themes are handled well. Gossamer may not quite as subtle, but Lois Lowry knows better than to overstate her point.

I enjoyed this short novel’s eerie and slightly haunting mood. I also liked the characters, be they human, canine or of another sort altogether. Gossamer is a very short book, but one that’s likely to stay with you.

Other Blog Reviews:
Stuff as Dreams Are Made On
Becky's Book Reviews
Back to Books
Hello, My Name is Alice
The Hidden Side of a Leaf
Melody's Reading Corner
Rhinoa's Ramblings
It's All About Books

First of all, I want to thank the lovely Eva for choosing my blog for her "You Make My Monday" Award, and for saying some the sweetest things ever about me! Thank you so much, Eva! Not only that, but she also picked two of my favourite bloggers, Chris and Carl, and said wonderful - and very true - things about them too. If you don't already follow Eva, Chris and Carl's blogs, you really should!

I also want to thank Anna and Chris for passing me the "I Love Your Blog" award. I was tempted to take the easy way out and not pass it on to anyone. As some of you have said yourselves, picking just a few favourites can be very hard. But then I decided to take this chance to highlight some great new to me blogs. By new to me, I mean discovered in the last couple of months.

So Alice, J.S. Peyton, Naida, Dar, Bart, Charley, Pardon my French and Jenny, I love your blogs and I'm very glad to have "met" you!


  1. Gossamer terrified me. The abuse descriptions were really difficult for me to read. But I liked the idea of using touch to gather memories and gain understanding. Thank you for enjoying my blog. I like yours, as well, and I'm glad to have "met" you, too.

  2. I look forward to reading Gossamer at some point. I really liked The Giver, Gathering Blue, and The Messenger. I guess I just like Lois Lowry's writing!

  3. Wow, I don't think I've heard anything about this book AT ALL! I'm always up for a good Lowry book, so it sounds like a winner.

  4. Yep, I think Gossamer's a must for the read-a-thon!

    Oooh, and look at all the new blogs to check out...

  5. I loved this one, although one part of it made me weep uncontrollably (the dog food things). I really do love Lowry!

  6. Thanks for the wonderful review, Nymeth. I've just placed an order for Gossamer. Been wanting to do that but kept forgetting. You've just gave me a reminder. :)

    AND... THANK YOU so very much for the award! You're too sweet and totally made my day. Thank you, thank you, thank you...

  7. I'll have to check out some of those new to you blogs. Though I think I know a couple already. :)

    I really love Lowry, so I'll definitely add this one to my wishlist.

  8. I think I've heard of Lois Lowry but just haven't read his books yet. I think I'll pick this book to read first... thanks for the great review, Nymeth! :)

  9. Oh that sounds like a wonderful book! Congrats on your awards!

  10. Haven't read this one yet... but I loved The Giver and I have Gathering Blue waiting... maybe for the read-a-thon although I'm not sure I'll do that yet, it scares me! :-0

  11. I've never heard of this book but it sounds great! Thanks!

  12. Aww, thanks Nymeth, that's just completely made my day!

  13. Charley: They are difficult to read, but I think Lowry handled them well. And at the end we have the joy of seeing John learning to trust people again. And thank you :)

    Terri B: I like her writing a lot too. I haven't read the rest of The Giver trilogy yet, but I definitely plan to.

    Andi, you'll enjoy it for sure!

    Debi: I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did. And I really think you will.

    Eva: I know...that scene completely broke my heart.

    Alice, thank YOU :) I hope you enjoy Gossamer!

    Dewey: It seems hard to go wrong with Lowry, doesn't it?

    Melody: I remember thinking it was "he" when I first heard of her too, but nope :P I think you'll enjoy her books, and so will your children in a few years!

    Ladytink, thank you!

    Joanna, you should totally join the read-a-thon! You don't have to do the whole 24 hours, no one will think less of you if you get some sleep. For us Europeans it starts at around lunchtime, so we can read all afternoon and evening, rest a bit at night, and be back for the final stretch in the morning! It will be fun for sure.

    A, you're welcome. I hope you enjoy the book if you decide to pick it up.

    Bart, you're most welcome!

  14. thanks for the award nymeth :)

    Gossamer sounds like a really interesting read. Especially the dream aspect of it. Great review as always.

  15. I've got to read this - you and Chris and everyone are ganging up on me! Resistance is futile! Congrats on the award - very well deserved. I heart your blog, too! :-)

  16. This looks good. I've read a review on another blog, but of course I can't remember which one right now.

  17. Naida, you're welcome :) I found the dream aspect particularly interesting, and the way it's mixed with reality is so well done.

    Darla: Yes, resistance is futile :P And thank you :D I heart yours too!

    Lisa: It might have been Chris', he read it for RIP too not too long ago. I hope you enjoy it if you decide to pick it up!

  18. Oh, thank you, that made me so happy! Believe it or not, I was getting ready to give you an award (it's in the works). I'm so happy I found your blog.

    I loved The Giver, I really liked Gathering Blue and I read a ton of Anastasia books while I was younger. I'll have to read Gossamer as well as The Messenger. Thanks for reminding me!

  19. I hope to squeeze this book in soon as I love Lowry as you might have already noticed! Congrats on your awards :)

  20. This may well be my favorite Lowry book - it bears up very well to multiple re-readings and I find some new little gem each time I open it...and just so you know, we ALL love your blog - congratulations on a much-deserved award!

  21. Pardon my french: I'm happy I found yours too :D I got Gathering Blue just the other day and now I need to get The Messenger too. If things go well I'll be able to complete the trilogy before the end of the year.

    Rhinoa: Yep, I've noticed :P And you'll love this one too for sure.

    Ken: Awww, thanks :D I preferred The Giver, but I can perfectly see why this one might be your favourite. They're both so good! It seems hard to go wrong with her.

  22. You're welcome! You definitely deserve the award!


  23. I don't think I have read any Lois Lowry, but I've heard some great reviews recently.

  24. Thanks for the great review Nymeth. This book sounds so intriguing.

    And thank you so much for the award! You really made my day. I'm so happy to have met you also!

  25. Anna, you're too kind :)

    Mariel, I really think you'll like her books!

    Dar, you're welcome :D

  26. I LOVED The Giver! I added Gossamer to my TBR based on your wonderful review.

    Congrats on the award! you so deserve it?!


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