Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Son - Lois Lowry
When the young girl washed up on their shore, no one knew she had been a Vessel. That she had carried a Product. That it had been carved from her belly. Stolen.
Claire had had a son. She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. When he was taken from their community, she knew she had to follow.
And so her journey began.
But here in this wind-battered village Claire is welcomed as one of their own. In the security of her new home, she is free and loved. She grows stronger.
As tempted as she is by the warmth of more human kindness than she has ever known, she cannot stay. Her son is out there; a young boy by now.
Claire will stop at nothing to find her child...even if it means trading her own life.
With Son, the two-time Newbery Medal-winning Lois Lowry has spun another mesmerizing tale in this thrilling and long-awaited conclusion to The Giver. (Summary from book jacket cover and image from http://www.bostonglobe.com)
My Review: Lois Lowry did it right. What a blessed relief to read a final book that concludes a series (companion books, if you will) well! If you liked The Giver, and read the other companion books, Gathering Blue and The Messenger, do NOT miss this book. It wraps the series up so cleanly, adds new characters that are endearing and rich, and has a message that is beautiful and moving. I hoped I wouldn't be disappointed, but I should not have doubted Lowry. She hasn't disappointed me yet, so why would she with this one?
Son is about Gabriel's mother, Claire. Claire is an eloquently written character with depth and heart. Her persistence in understanding herself, her past, and trying to find Gabriel touches the heart of any mother, and I would hope, any reader. I don't know how a mother could read this book and not relate to the love Lowry describes Claire has for her new baby. It fits so perfectly with how I feel about my own daughters the minute they are born.
What makes this book so wonderful is how Lowry weaves all the books together. She explores a different perspectives of The Giver. The exploration of what happens to Claire, Gabe, Jonas' father, and other birth mothers satiated some of my own curious thoughts about the strange world created in The Giver. She explains and explores characters from Gathering Blue and The Messenger. I loved being able to see what happens to Jonas and Kira. Finally, she creates an entirely new community and group of flawed characters to grow attached to. This section of the book explores some of the questions we should have about our own communities and judging others.
An interesting aspect to Lowry's writing is how she craftily deals with heavy topics. She talks about abuse, hate, evil, and yet it doesn't come across in a way that I would be offended with my girls reading it. She somehow manages to write about them, and if the reader is young enough, he or she won't pick up on the nuances of what Lowry is implying. For a more seasoned reader, it is easy to pick out her implications, but again, it's not offensive--it simply states an evil that existed and portrayed it for what is was. Lowry has a way of making real, heavy, hard aspects of life something you could talk to your children about. This, I believe, is a gift.
My favorite aspect of this book is her depiction of evil. Her explanations of what it is, how it grows, and how it feeds upon itself were simplistic yet spot on. To take it further, she explains how to rid yourself of evil. While this is a fictional book, and you really cannot rid the world of evil so simply as she describes here, it is accurate of how to rid yourself of evil inside yourself. (That was wordy...I know. I don't know how else to explain it. I hate spoilers, so this is my vague way of explaining it.)
Overall, I recommend this book to anyone. Young, old, readers of The Giver, or not. This is a beautifully written book with a wonderful plot and message. Don't miss this one!
For the sensitive reader: Nothing to offend. It's wonderfully clean!
Rating: 5 Stars
Sum it up: A wonderful conclusion that ties all the loose ends of The Giver saga together.