Son by Lois Lowry
Published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children on October 2, 2012
Series: The Giver, #4
Genre(s): fiction, adventure, dystopia, young adult
Format & Length: e-book, 225
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They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.
Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of the Newbery Medal winning book, The Giver, as well as Gathering Blue and Messenger where a new hero emerges. In this thrilling series finale, the startling and long-awaited conclusion to Lois Lowry’s epic tale culminates in a final clash between good and evil.
I really enjoyed this book and the whole series. Possibly my favorite aspect of The Giver quartet is how each story and all the characters intertwined to tell a larger story.
As far as Son goes, I liked seeing the story of Claire, Gabe’s mother. It was interesting to revisit The Giver from her perspective, to see the story from a slightly older and female point of view. This section of the book had the same unerring eeriness that the original story did. Then, with a swift turn of events, Claire escapes from that community by boat, which has some sort of accident, and she washes up on the shore of a separate isolated beach village. Each section tells a different portion of Claire’s story, and I won’t say too more here so as not to give it away.
After finishing, I still have so many questions. For instance, how did these different isolated villages come to be? They must be in close enough proximity to travel from one to another by foot, and yet they are so startlingly different. How does one village have the technology to control birth, while another is so simple that they live completely off the land? For that matter, how is it that the original community Claire and Jonas come from needs birthmothers but there are no men who father their babies? What happened to that community? Can they all see colors now? How were they able to repress that ability in the first place? What happened on the boat? What happened in the first place to make this world the way it is?
Despite all these questions, I rather liked this book and the way it completed the story. As with all of these books, I feel it is left quite vague for a reason. To make you think, wonder why things are the way they are, and consider, what if? What does it take for humans, as a society, to change?
If you read The Giver and expect more of the same, the rest of the series may not be your thing. But for four quick, easy reads that also manage to make you stop and think, definitely give this quartet a shot.