Summary and book reviews of Gossamer by Lois Lowry

Gossamer

by Lois Lowry

Gossamer
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2006, 144 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2008, 160 pages

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Book Summary

Where do dreams come from? Two people face their own histories and discover what they can be to one another, renewed by the strength that comes from a tiny, caring creature they will never see.

Where do dreams come from? What stealthy nighttime messengers are the guardians of our most deeply hidden hopes and our half-forgotten fears? Drawing on her rich imagination, two-time Newbery winner Lois Lowry confronts these questions and explores the conflicts between the gentle bits and pieces of the past that come to life in dream, and the darker horrors that find their form in nightmare. In a haunting story that tiptoes between reality and imagination, two people—a lonely, sensitive woman and a damaged, angry boy—face their own histories and discover what they can be to one another, renewed by the strength that comes from a tiny, caring creature they will never see.

Gossamer
Chapter 1

By Lois Lowry

An owl called, its shuddering hoots repeating mournfully in the distance. Somewhere nearby, heavy wings swooped and a young rabbit, captured by sharp talons, shrieked as he was lifted to his doom. Startled, a raccoon looked up with bright eyes from the place where he was foraging. Two deer moved in tandem through a meadow. A thin cloud slid across the moon.

-

The pair crept stealthily through the small house. Night was their time of work, the time when human conversation had ceased, when thoughts had drifted away and even breathing and heartbeats had slowed. The outdoors was awake and stirring but the little house was dark and silent.

They tiptoed, and whispered. Unaware, the woman and her dog slept soundly, though the dog, on his pillow bed of cedar shavings at the foot of the woman's four-poster, moved his legs now and then as if chasing a dream rabbit.

"Are we a kind of dog?" Littlest One asked suddenly.

"...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

In poetically simple words Lowry draws the reader into her story about Littlest One, a trainee dream-giver, assigned to the house of an elderly woman who agrees to foster an "angry boy". Lowry shows us that it's possible to take on big issues such as child abuse without having to resort to gritty detail; instead she paints her story, not with a sugar-coating, but with a gossamer touch so that young children can empathize with the central characters, including the boy and his mother, without being overwhelmed by harsh details.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Full Review Members Only (212 words).

Media Reviews

Publisher's Weekly

Lyrical, richly descriptive prose ushers readers into a fascinating parallel world.

Children's Literature - Joan Kindig

The novel is elegantly and sparingly written. The pacing is taut and the characterization surprisingly full given the length of the book. (Ages 10-14).

Kirkus Reviews

The prose is light as gossamer; the story as haunting as a dream.

Booklist

Lowry's plain, poetic words speak directly to children

School Library Journal

Starred Review. A beautiful novel with an intriguing premise.

Reader Reviews

mystery guy

Gossamer is 100000of10
Awesome book; it is truly filled with lovely neat details!

henry garner

the gossamer
Gossamer is a great book with love and hope.

bookworm

Wondeful
I just read this book at 28 and I loved it! It weaves Lowry's great imagination with innocence and worldliness. How she does it is absolutely amazing I teared up at the end.

Elizabeth An Boyd

Best book EVER!!!
Hello people of earth! You may think this is some weird book, but it's not! It is the best book ever! I myself read it in grade 4 and now I can't find the book anywhere! It's like it just disappeared into nowhere. I want to read it again but I can't ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

As a child, Lois Lowry moved with her family all over the world (her father was an army dentist) - as a result, strong family ties and the leaving behind of people and places are central themes to much of her work. 

When asked about the inspiration for Gossamer she replies, "I'm so interested, always, in how the bits and pieces of our lives go together, how they form a narrative, and how important they are to us. My son died when his little girl was not yet two. She's twelve now, and she asks me often, ‘Tell me stories about my dad when he was ...

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