"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
"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)
Say something about yourself!
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
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.
Enjoyable well written story. Fell in love with the characters from the beginning.
Loved how the four books tied into each other.
Smooth and professional narration.
I have been enjoying listening to books since the late 90's and reading them the old fashioned way since my parents taught me!
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.
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!
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.
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."
Read "The Giver" and "The Messenger" first so you get the most out of this book. Happy listening:+)
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".
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.
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.
I wanted to love this book, I enjoyed the rest of the "series" tremendously and I re-read The Giver annually. This story just fell flat. It departs too far from the themes and world of the others to even believe that it belongs in the series. If not for the common characters and similar social setting the entire story would be unfamiliar. If you enjoyed the series it is worth a read, but keep your expectations low. Not since the forced Sunday morning sermons of my youth have I felt so blatantly preached at. I rare miss for one of my favorite authors, when I re-visit this series next I will likely stop at Messenger.
Overall a good follow up to "The Giver", though it would be difficult to fully live up to those standards. The climax could have been more exciting, but the "anti-climax seems to be a Lois Lowery trademark.....great book for young audiences, but lacking the appeal for adults present in "The Giver".
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