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Son | [Lois Lowry]

Son

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.
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Publisher's Summary

"They called her Water Claire."

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.

©2012 Lois Lowry (P)2012 Listening Library

What the Critics Say

"Claire's story stands on its own, but as the final volume in this iconic quartet, it holistically reunites characters, reprises provocative socio-political themes, and offers a transcending message of tolerance and hope." (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (227 )
5 star
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3 star
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4.2 (205 )
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4.2 (202 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Tara Norfolk, VA, United States 04-03-13
    Tara Norfolk, VA, United States 04-03-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    21
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    "Mother of Gabe..."

    This is the story of the mother of the baby from The Giver...confused? If you have read The Giver you won't be, if you have not you should (and the other two books; Gathering Blue and Messanger) before you read this one. I would assume it can stand alone, but it is all the much richer with the background from the other books. Vivid descriptions, raw emotions and hard choices are at the core of this book. The love of a mother can drive even an emotionally deprived girl from the Giver community to embark on a quest of epic proportions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy 01-28-13
    Amy 01-28-13 Member Since 2006

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    153
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    "A great "build up" to a "let down"!"

    I have mixed thoughts on this one. I would give it 2.5 stars if I could.

    I greatly appreciated how this wove the disparate strands of The Giver, Gathering Blue, and The Messenger together in a coherent way. (I particularly love The Giver.) Even so, Son stands on its own and is fully accessible to someone who hasn't read Lowry's previous works.

    The first and second parts, "Before" and "Between," are hauntingly good (and very reminiscent of The Giver), painting first a dystopian society without emotion or individualism, and then contrasting that with a small but thriving community of outcasts who have created family by choice.

    Unfortunately, the third section, "Beyond," takes the tale out of the realm of science fiction or even parable and transforms it into a cartoonish allegory that steals much of the meaning and thoughtfulness from the rest of the work. Suddenly the worlds and woes we've encountered aren't because of good intentions gone bad and ignorance of what could be, or even the almost-mindless tyranny of the few over the many (with, more or less, the complicity of that many), but pure "evil." The final confrontation between Gabe (Gabriel? an angel?) and the Trademaster (the fallen, exiled angel?), with its suggestion that we're willing to give away those parts of ourselves we should treasure most, has all the subtlety of a heavy brick to the head.

    I was pleased that the love of a mother for her son, and of that son for his mother - loves that would have been deemed "selfish" and wrong in the world of "Before" - end up saving not only these two individuals, but also their entire community. I only wish this could've been conveyed without trading Lowry's deft touch for a sledgehammer.

    Lowry's gift is raising and wrestling with difficult questions, and the first two sections of Son continue in this tradition beautifully. It's unfortunate that she ends this series with somewhat last-minute and trite answers

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Library United States 11-04-12
    Library United States 11-04-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "a bit slow-going"

    I can't place why this book seemed to be so draggy--I have read all the other three in the series and The Giver was so good, I was hoping for more from this. I think perhaps the author simply chose to write for a 4th grade audience and kept her vocabulary and situations at that level. There was a great deal of over-explanation and repetition that an adult reader would not appreciate, but certainly it would be good for children.
    An example would be something like getting introduced to a character and a fact about him, and then in the next chapter, the same fact is repeated in an different way, like within the narrative, "She remembered that he had lost his mother as a child and therefore..." it just really seemed for younger children than her previous books so I was disappointed.

    And there is a lot of suspension of disbelief --not because it takes place in an alternate society, but because certain things seem too unlikely even within that society.

    The narrator has a sort of odd, cheery tone, particularly in the beginning, and it is clear she is trying to channel the freakishly happy dystopian society, so there is a reason for it, however, it was somewhat annoying to me.

    I was also not satisfied with the ending as I think it was resolved very quickly and artifically. I believe Lowry is a good enough writer to be able to have made the ending more complex.



    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zachary Gallion Madison, WI USA 10-29-12
    Zachary Gallion Madison, WI USA 10-29-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Not a huge fan..."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I only bought this book because I had read the other three stories in this series. I would only recommend this book to someone who has read the other three, only to finish the series. Quite honestly this book did nothing for me to wrap up the original story of "The Giver" I think that this book was only written to please those people that pressured Lowery to tell us what happened to Jonas and Gabe. I became increasingly agitated with the progress of the story/ the characters: Claire took seven years to finally talk to someone about her being there; six years to gain the strength to climb a mountain; chapters talking about the climbing of the mountain in what was only a days journey, discussing every notch, nook, and cranny. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed Book One as it was detailing Claire's life, bringing us back to the community we first learned about in "The Giver".


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Not impressed. Maybe I'm too dim witted but I have no idea the point of the Trade Master. Plus, we took forever with the journey of Claire and the ending was far to quick and easy.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Bernadette Dunne’s performances?

    No.


    Do you think Son needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. Everyone lived happily ever after. Although, I'd love to learn more about the Community we first learned about, certainly does not need to be anything about the three main charters, but more of its beginnings and future.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grazyna 08-13-14
    Grazyna 08-13-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent series with horrible narrator"
    Would you be willing to try another one of Bernadette Dunne’s performances?

    The narrator should find another job - I only went through the story as there was no alternative and I love the series.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mik Rittella Stafford , VA 07-27-14
    Mik Rittella Stafford , VA 07-27-14 Member Since 2014

    I have been enjoying listening to books since the late 90's and reading them the old fashioned way since my parents taught me!

    ratings
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    13
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    "I don't give out 5 stars often!"
    What did you love best about Son?

    This is the final book in the "Giver" trilogy and I don't know why I just found out about it! There are many themes in it relevant to society today but you don't have to delve deeply or use a study guide to get into this book. Great story of perseverance and love in a dystopian society that does not include vampires and werewolves. Or zombies. There are still supernatural "gifts" but they are only a small part of this story that takes place in three separate, very different communities.


    What other book might you compare Son to and why?

    The Handmaiden's Tale, or 1984. Big brother is trying to simplify things and make people feel safer by taking away civil and even human rights. Scary!


    What does Bernadette Dunne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her timing and intonation as she reads, along with the way she alters her voice for each character brings them to life. You hear her voice and you want to comfort Claire or shackle the Trade Master.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    This is a tough question because anything I can think of right now sounds corny. Maybe,
    "In a dystopian world, love and perseverance conquer ignorance and manipulation to find and define family."


    Any additional comments?

    Read "The Giver" and "The Messenger" first so you get the most out of this book. Happy listening:+)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tech Queen PA United States 01-30-13
    Tech Queen PA United States 01-30-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    4
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    "Ties The Giver Series Together"
    What made the experience of listening to Son the most enjoyable?

    Learning the fate of many of the series characters and answering some of the questions left at the end of the other books.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Fierce/Lame Inar was my favorite character. He was one of the most genuine of souls.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Inar described what his life was like with his father. His revelations were unexpected and sad, but he had made peace with his existence.


    Any additional comments?

    There were some inconsistencies in the story, enough to question but not enough to ruin it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. Walsh Soufriere, Dominica 11-20-12
    W. Walsh Soufriere, Dominica 11-20-12 Member Since 2010

    Read. Listen. Live.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "A little disappointing, but still enjoyable"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I felt this story was a little weaker than Lois Lowry's previous books, but it was wonderful to be reunited with some old friends, while meeting new ones.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gilmara Lima Mendes Piscataway, New Jersey 11-20-12
    Gilmara Lima Mendes Piscataway, New Jersey 11-20-12 Member Since 2012

    Audible Obsessed wishes she had more time for so many audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
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    "A Story of Love and Resilience"
    What made the experience of listening to Son the most enjoyable?

    The so expected end of the quartet is what I had been looking forward to, and this time Gabe got to be one of the main characters, which was fun to watch his journey, his growth.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Claire and Gabe were my favorite characters, Seeing their story towards one another was what kept me going.
    I also loved seeing how Jonas participated in this book. I loved his wisdom and serenity.


    What does Bernadette Dunne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She performed it very well. I would enjoy listening to another book narrated by her. My favorite narrator so far was Ron Rifkin, from "The Giver", though.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not really, although I really enjoyed the end. I was kind of slow going for a while between the first and second parts of this book, but I kept on going because I wanted to see what would happen to Claire and how she would find her son.


    Any additional comments?

    I think Lois Lowry could have explored so many things so much more throughout the quartet. I really missed some points of the story where she kind of left a blank. My favorite book is still "The Giver" (the first one of the quartet), which was the reason for me to go look for the rest of the series.
    I know some mystery has to be left in the air, but I wish there could have been a proper end to Claire and her son, with more details, but it was left up tp imagination.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TRISH United States 11-12-12
    TRISH United States 11-12-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    3
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    "Wanting more..."

    This moved a little slow but it was a good wrap up of the series so far.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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