Melanie knows little about herself. She doesn't know who her parents are, she doesn't know if Melanie was always her name ... they picked it for her. She does know that she lives in a cell. Every morning, she is strapped into a wheelchair by gunpoint and taken to a classroom. Most days are boring, except for the day that Miss Justineau teaches. Miss Justineau reads the children stories and engages them. The other teachers and staff treat them horribly, especially Sergeant Parks.
Melanie's only concept of time is by her daily activities. She hates shower day. The staff line up the children in a row, feed them (once a week) and spray them with a chemical, they they are quickly ushered back to their cells. The children never go outside, they have no concept of the world. However, Melanie knows that we children go past the doors and up the staircase, they never come back.
Carey has built an excellent dystopian world. We find out, along with Melanie, what has happened to society and why she's locked up. The book reminds me of Never Let Me Go, but much better. Never Let Me Go created no goodwill between the reader and the subject, The Girl with All the Gifts makes you question what you believe, and what you want for this society.