Son – Lois Lowry

SonOn the Cover: 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.

Published: 2012

Why I Chose It: I’ve been making my way through The Giver Quartet and was excited to finally read the last installment!

Other Books in the Series:

The Giver
Gathering Blue

Messenger

 


The Review:

I was really excited when I realized this book went back to the original community found in The Giver. It feels like we come full circle and that we truly complete the story. Old issues of that community are revisited, but new ones are introduced too, and it’s lovely to see how complex Lowry’s world has become as she has added on layer after layer of the story. This is probably my favourite book in the series because it does show the best summation of the world that she has created.

Claire is an amazing character. From the beginning, I was drawn to her and was eager to see what her adventure would be. She is incredibly strong and determined, and I love how much we get to see her evolve through the different stages of her life. Each of the different challenges that she goes through are so distinct from each other, but they really allow Claire to come out stronger on the other side.

Son Turkish Cover

In addition to the new character of Claire, I really like how this book brought together all the characters from the previous books. We get a glimpse of how they’ve been living and how their stories have played out. Seeing these previous characters further down their story lines really adds depth to Lowry’s creation, as it really does feel like a well-rounded world where time passes and characters have lives outside of what’s captured within their respective books.

Although I loved the ending for this book and we leave the characters in a really good place, I do have a sort of mixed feeling about the conclusion of this book. This one community is a safe and happy place. But we are left with the knowledge that there are really dark, bad communities that still exist, and I could not help but continue to think about all the places that the characters left behind.  And yet I loved those lingering thoughts because it shows that this world is not perfect, and that the end of the book is not the end of the story.

I think Son is a great conclusion to the series. It really does bring us full circle with all the characters and the settings, and left me with a beautiful picture of one of the most interesting fictional worlds I’ve ever read. If you’re iffy about The Giver quartet, I recommend pushing through, because this final installment is well worth it.

Rating: 4 / 5

Son English Cover

Quotations:

“For Claire’s entire life, her feelings had been those of – what? She searched in her mind for the right descriptive word. Contentment. Yes, she had always been content. Everyone was, in the community. Their needs were tended to; there was nothing they lacked, nothing they… That was it, Claire realized. She had never yearned for anything before. But now, ever since the day of the birth, she felt a yearning constantly, desperately, to fill the emptiness inside of her. She wanted her child.” (Overdrive, 2012)

“Claire was aware that all the other workers took a pill every morning. And that was why, she realized, their conversation was always lighthearted, superficial, essentially meaningless. They were like the Vessels in the pill-taking time between births – without feeling. She was the only one, she could see now, who did not take a pill each day – and she guessed that it was simply a mistake.” (Overdrive, 2012)

“Claire closed her hands around the mug and breathed the tea’s steam. ‘I don’t know.’ She whispered, after a moment, ‘I feel so sad.’ Alys watched her, and knew that the herbs in the mug would soothe the panic that had afflicted her, that soon she would calm and likely sleep for a bit. But they would not heal her. It would be hard to heal a girl as desperately wounded as this one.” (Overdrive, 2012)

The Magic of Re-Reading

This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit my two and a half year old nephew. I adore hanging out with him because he loves books! He will always bring me books and curl up in my lap for me to read with him. It’s my favourite part of our visits.

ABCDuring this visit we happened to get stuck on one book in particular – Dr. Seuss’s ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book! As with most of Dr. Seuss’ books, this was super fun to read. It has a bouncy rhythm and silly rhymes, and it incredibly easy to memorize, so that when your nephew takes the book away from you but still insists that you read… well, it’s possible. Still, there are only so many times I can chant “Big A, little a, what begins with a?” before I start feeling a little crazy. I had to wonder why my nephew kept insisting that we read the same book over and over again.

And then I laughed at myself.

SilverwingI am totally a fan of re-reading the books that I read. Growing up, I tended to circulate through the books that I owned and read them over and over again. How many times did I read Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel? Or Tolkien’s The Hobbit? How many times did I pick up the Everworld series by K. A. Applegate? I re-read the first two Harry Potter books so many times that by the time books five and six came out, I had to start the series at book three. I loved all of these books so much that any time I needed something to read they were always on the top of the pile.

My BooksI know there are many readers out there who don’t like to re-read books and I can totally understand this mentality. There are so many books in the world, so many books that we want to read – my own to-read list is over 400 now! Why waste the time going back over the novels you have already read when you can better spend your time experiencing new ones?

The Hobbit BooK CoverYet even now I yearn to read those books again. For me, it’s not wasted time. Re-reading is almost my favourite part, to re-visit the places I’ve created memories and to discover new secrets I didn’t see before. I want to walk through Middle Earth again, explore the hidden spaces of  Hogwarts, and navigate the skies on the wings of a bat. I want to search Everworld for Senna, fight by the side of Bilbo, and hang out in the common room with Ginny. Re-reading is taking the time to visit favourite places and old friends, and I can’t imagine never going back.

While “Big A, little a” may not compare to the songs sung by dwarves, I think I may understand a little bit more why my nephew wants to re-read his books. So I will read the book and say the rhymes and chant the verses over and over – because I know the magic of hearing those words again and again.