Finally, after nineteen years of waiting, Lois Lowry concludes her four-book dystopian series that began with The Giver (A Newberry Medal winner), continued with Gathering Blue and Messenger, and now ends with Son, a heart-wrenching tale of a mother searching in vain for her child. The Giver series is set in a society that has eliminated pain and conflict by enforcing “Sameness,” a strict conformity to social roles and a repression of unruly emotions and desires. In The Giver, Jonas becomes the receiver of memory for his community, but he ends up questioning the life the community offers and becoming attached to Gabriel, a baby who fails to thrive and so is marked for “release.” I remember reading The Giver when I was younger and wondering what would happen to Jonas and Gabe, despite the fact I barely understood their confusing way of life. Son travels back to the beginning of the story and we get to watch the familiar events take place, but through the perspective of another young person, Claire. If you liked The Giver and wondered about its conclusion (like me) then you will enjoy Son.
Claire is fourteen years old, has grown up in the same world as Jonas, and has equally suffered. After she has a problematic time giving birth, Claire’s son is taken away and she is discharged as a Birthmother and sent to work in the fish hatchery. But something is not right with Claire; she feels emotions that are unusual, given the Sameness that rules her community. Claire falls in love with her son, whom she secretly visits at the nurturing centre, and feels apathetic toward her job. But when Jonas leaves, all is thrown into chaos, and Claire finds her way onto a ship that takes her far away from her home. After she falls off the ship during a storm, she wakes in a new world with her memory gone. Slowly, Claire regains her memory and a strong yearning for her son. Old and new threads are picked up and woven together as we follow Claire's heroic journey to reunite with her child.
- Madelle Krucker