The Product was what they had carved out of her.
And she missed it. She was suffused with a desperate feeling of loss.
I feel like Son by Lois Lowry is a gift to readers of The Giver. Well, that’s not true. I feel like the first two parts of Son are a gift. I feel like the last part is more of an epilogue for readers who want to know more about Jonas, Kira (of Gathering Blue), and Gabriel and what happened to them.
That’s my way of saying I absolutely LOVED the first two parts of the book and liked the last part okay.
Here’s what I loved:
– Claire. Claire is awesome. She’s so fully drawn and realized. Her heartbreak is my heartbreak. Her triumph is my triumph. Claire is the best.
– I loved revisiting the community from The Giver. I especially liked seeing it from another perspective and learning more about how other parts of the community Jonas couldn’t/didn’t see operate. I wonder, now, how many other people stopped taking their pills or flirted with learning more. How many others had a dissatisfaction. And what about the people who enforced and made the laws? So many more possibilities opened up once I read about the community again.
Although, wow, that place is so heartbreaking. The lack of love, of real joy. How absent and distant everyone is. I think Lowry really shows why living that way is terrible while at the same time making the reader understand how some people would think that’s a better way to do things.
– I don’t know exactly what to say about the Birthmothers and their lives, but I do enjoy the commentary Lowry is making about how some people view mothers.
– Einar. Let me just say that if I were participating in Yuletide in any capacity, I would be all over some Claire/Einar fanfiction. And I’m not a huge fanfic reader.
– The world-building in all three sections is stellar.
– I also love Lowry’s final commentary on evil (or what I perceive her point to be): Though evil may try to vanquish that which is good, it never truly succeeds, especially because it discounts the amazing heart and willingness of people to endure.
Why the third part didn’t work for me:
– I don’t want to spoil the story, so I’ll just say the characterization in that part wasn’t as strong, and the plot felt rushed. While things moved quickly in the first two parts, I felt like so much more was going on and that I was so absorbed in the world. I didn’t have that same sense in the third part.
In fact, I would argue that the first two parts mirror The Giver and Gathering Blue, and the third part mimics the style of Messenger, which would explain my reaction to this book.
In conclusion: A wonderful ending to the mythology of The Giver, though I wish the entire book had been as absorbing as the first two parts of its narrative.