Kira lives in a harsh civilization where people, although
fortunately constrained by a system of rules, have little feeling
or compassion for others. Physical imperfection is not tolerated,
and parents routinely beat their children, an atmosphere chillingly
exemplified in Chapter 17 by the woman in the Fen shoving away the
hungry hands of her "tykes" as she greedily eats an apple. It is no
accident that, in this atmosphere, Annabella can teach Kira to make
all colors of thread except blue, the symbol of peace and calm.
Little Matt travels "yonder" and brings Kira
a small amount of blue thread, which she will "gather".
Kira's "gathering blue" is a sign of hope, that she and those
close to her will one day bring to her civilation the ability to
become "healing people liv(ing) in harmony" (Chapter 22).
Although it is not broken into chapters, the link below provides
an excellent account of what happens in the book.