The novel Gathering Blue was published in 2000.Messenger and Son are the follow-up books to The Giver and are set in the same future time period and universe.
Kira, the central character, is orphans and must learn to survive in a society that leaves the weak or disabled exposed to die in the fields.She learns the art of dyeing thread to different colors except for blue, which nobody in her community knows how to do, in the course of the book.She learns more about the terrible secrets of her village.
Kira, the main character, lost her mother and father when she was young, and her father died on a hunt with the Hunters after being killed by The Beasts.Kira has to learn to survive in a society that leaves the weak and disabled exposed to die in the fields.
Kira needs a reason for the Council to keep her in the village because she is going to die at the hands of The Beasts.During the trial, a member of the Council, named Jamison, defends Kira, much to Kira’s surprise, and convinces the council that Kira has a gift for embroidery.She is given the task of repairing the Singer’s robe after being found worthy of life in society.
Kira is learning how to create dyes for different shades and hues from an older woman named Annabella.Kira learns that there is no way to make blue for the threads that she will be using.Annabella tells Kira that she knows a lot of the society’s history and even goes so far as to say that there really are no Beasts.Kira doesn’t know what to think of that revelation or what Annabella means by it.
Along the way, she befriends a younger boy, Matt, and makes a new friend in her neighbourhood, Thomas, who is a boy around Kira’s age.Thomas has lived there since he was very young because of his abilities.The woodworker helps the Singer remember the history of the society by maintaining and improving his staff.They help each other prepare for The Gathering.In her new home, the Guardian who fought for her life becomes a mentor to her.He is kind but also stern.
Kira learns that her life is not perfect.A very young girl, named Jo, whose ability to sing is magnificent, was discovered when Thomas heard crying in her building.The intent is to eventually replace the current Singer.Jo is punished if she doesn’t sing.Kira sneaks into Jo’s locked room at night to comfort her.Kira realized that the three did not have as much freedom as they had thought.Kira is left to continue her work after Annabella died.That and the secluded life that a very young Jo must live help Kira decide to find out the truth about her society.
On the day that the Singer sings the Song at the Gathering, Matt is nowhere to be found.The current Singer uses the staff that Thomas has worked so hard on and she repaired and enhanced the robe that he wore.She realized that his feet are chained, injured, scarred, and bleeding and that he is kept for the event because of his talent.The implication is that she and the others with Gifts are also prisoners.Tenants without any creativity of their own seek to control the three in order to provide a future that they envision.
Matt is back with a blind man.Kira’s people are unable to make a blue shirt for the man.He is the father of Christopher, who Kira thought was dead.He had been attacked by another hunter who was jealous of his potential to be a member of the council.He lost his sight after being beaten and stabbed.Being taken to the fields to die with the other rejected, ailed, injured, and dying citizens of their society, he was rescued by some people he could not see.Kira’s group is made up of injured and disabled people who help one another rather than fighting for their lives.Matt excitedly explains that they know how to make blue threads, and he brings plants that will allow Kira to do the same.