Son – Lois Lowry

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Lois Lowry, Newberry Award winning author of The Giver quartet, didn’t start writing professionally until she was in her mid- 30s, which gives me hope considering I’m nearly 33.

Like The Giver, Gathering Blue, and Messenger, I thoroughly enjoyed Lowry’s young adult dystopian novel, Son.

One of the best reviews of Lowry’s Son that I’ve come across was written by young adult author Robin Wasserman. Lowry paved the way for young adult dystopian literature which Wasserman describes very well:

“In 1993, when Lois Lowry shocked adult and child sensibilities alike with her Newbery Medal-winning novel “The Giver,” J. K. Rowling had not yet begun scribbling magic words on the back of cafe napkins and Stephenie Meyer had just graduated from her (presumably vampire-free) high school. Suzanne Collins had just sold her first teleplays for the gentle, nonviolent world of children’s television, and “dystopia” was a 50-cent SAT word unlikely to trip off the average sixth-grade tongue.” (Excerpt from The New York Times, Oct. 2012).

Son is the fourth book in The Giver quartet, and the central theme is the love between a mother and child. Fourteen-year-old Claire is given the role of “Vessel” in the communist-esque society she lives in. Her role is to give birth to three children which will be taken away from her immediately after birth and given to an assigned married couple. However, Claire’s delivery is botched, which ruins her chances of future births. In effect, Claire’s son is taken and she is reassigned to work at a fish hatchery. Claire doesn’t take the pill that the other community members do, therefore she feels emotions that they don’t; one of which is love and longing for her son. Claire manages to find and form a fragile relationship with her son, until he is stolen from the Nurturing Center by Jonas (the main character from The Giver). Claire escapes the bleak community in order to reunite with her son, Gabe. Along her journey she falls in love with a lame man, forms a mother-daughter-like relationship with a woman who saves her, makes a deal with a devil, and most importantly, reunites with her son.

Son can be read as a stand alone but I highly recommend that you take the time and read the series from the beginning; it’s too amazing not to.

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