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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

4.3 (430 )
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4.3 (372 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amy 01-28-13
    Amy 01-28-13 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    53
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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

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KassyD 01-17-15
    KassyD 01-17-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Wonderful story"

    I thoroughly enjoyed The Giver series. The narrator did a fabulous job. highly recommend if you liked The Giver.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Library United States 11-04-12
    Library United States 11-04-12 Member Since 2014
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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.



    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dariush 02-03-15
    Dariush 02-03-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved it"

    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.
    So satisfying.

    1 of 1 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!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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:+)

    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
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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
  •  
    Aileen 05-28-15
    Aileen 05-28-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Awesome"

    AWESOME BOOK. I recommend it to all who love fiction. the reader was great and the book had an awesome plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. R. Miramon sf,ca 05-05-15
    S. R. Miramon sf,ca 05-05-15 Member Since 2014
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    "a modern fairytale "

    a story with hope and values to make you smile and believe in mankind and love.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lin chicago 03-23-15
    lin chicago 03-23-15 Member Since 2015
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    4
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    "Good ending"

    Very good ending but you have to read the previous books to understand this one

    A a a a A

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer F. Turner 03-21-15 Member Since 2013
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    "LOVED"

    This was a great book, especially if you have read all of the books in the Giver quartet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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