Spellbinding Conclusion to "The Giver"
Almost twenty years after "The Giver", Lois Lowry offers up the story's conclusion in "Son" (aptly named). The story begins with Claire, a girl of fourteen who lives in the same Community as Jonas (from "The Giver"). At her Ceremony of Twelve Clarie is given her assignment, Birthmother. But during the birthing something goes wrong and while both Claire and the child (product number 36) are spared, Claire is reassigned. Yet even in her new job, Claire cannot stop thinking about her child, the child that she wasn't allowed to keep or even see. Soon Claire makes the decision to stop at nothing in order to find her child. A decision that will test her endurance, her will, and her commitment, as well as the gracious benevolence and unbounded love of others. A decision that will set her on a collision course with Jonas.
While "Son" may be considered part of "The Worlds of Lois Lowry" trilogy (now a quartet) it is unquestionably the conclusion to "The Giver" (thus making the two books a duo). It is absolutely not necessary for one to have read "Gathering Blue" or "The Messenger" to understand or enjoy this inspirational book. "Son" is beautifully written in Lowry's sing-song type of prose. It's easy to imagine a teller of tales recounting the story to a large audience as they cozy up in front of a roaring fire. The book is quite a bit longer than "The Giver" and is divided into three sections each spanning the length of one leg of Claire's journey. This is both appropriate and intelligent for it becomes a book within a book (which has its own beginning, middle, and end). If I had to complain about something, I would remark on my desire to have a longer book three (the third and final section in the novel). I felt as if it collapsed a little too quickly. However, that took little away from my overall experience. Is the book "better" or "as good as" "The Giver"? *Shrugs* I feel as though that is a rather inane question. Can anything really compete with something that has been idolized and held dear to so many for close to two decades? That's quite a lofty request to make. I will say, that after reading "Son" I can't imagine it ending any other way; and THAT says it all.