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Son by Lois Lowry
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Son (edition 2012)

by Lois Lowry

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986698,702 (3.89)46
Member:LynnMoore
Title:Son
Authors:Lois Lowry
Info:Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Novel - young adult

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Son by Lois Lowry

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To me you're a child, still. And a mum always loves her child.

Claire knows that she has lost something precious. She should move on with her life and conform to the ways of the community. Move on. And yet what her body has lost, her heart cannot let go. Against the odds, against common sense, and against everything she has been taught growing up, she will search for what was lost and reclaim what has been stolen from her.

In this conclusion to The Giver Quartet, Lowry takes us back to the beginning, drawing a full circle from all her previous characters and stories. Although the writing is deceptively simple, the ideas of freedom, freewill, and love are all intricately interwoven into all her books and Son does not disappoint in that regard. If I were to be critical it would be the fact that her previous three books were short, concise and straight to the heart of the matter, whereas Son being almost twice the size of its predecessors felt at times a bit drawn out. The power of her style that completely worked with her previous novels seems to have lost a bit of its steam and impact of delivery in this final installment. Nevertheless, the entire series is a must read and will undoubtably be a favourite of mine for years to come. Recommended. ( )
  jolerie | Dec 22, 2014 |
Well, shoot, now how are English teachers going to assign their classes to write the rest of the ending to The Giver if Ms. Lowry answers a ton of the questions herself right in this book? (Heh).

Anyway, this is the fourth book in the 'Giver' series. And it pulls together almost everything from the previous three books into the same story. It starts with Claire from the same community/town as Jonas, but who a couple years before Jo was picked as a birth mother. Claire had her child, #36 of that year, but something went wrong and she got reassigned to the Fish Hatchery. The story goes from there, mostly following her journey as she tries to reconnect with her son.

It's an amazingly expansive story, and like with the other three stories in the Giver series, it never forgets about the characters or relationships also. We have Claire who with every chapter we find has new layers to her. Gabe who has quite grown up since the last books. Alysis a great supporting character who's quite the helper on Claire's journey. And then there's Einar. He turned into my favorite character in the whole book. Claire meets him once she gets out of the community where she grew up and like her he has many, many layers to him. And even as the book ends I felt like there could be another one just about him. That seems to be how Lowry writes. On the one hand the stories get well concluded while still being wicked open ended.

But the part that I like most about this series' books, especially this one, is that it's always fun to try and figure out what these characters are talking about, what something like a fish as big as a boat really refers to. I like thinking of how Lowry's world fits (or doesn't fit) alongside our real world. ( )
  DanieXJ | Dec 18, 2014 |
Son is the final book in the series and, as much as I enjoyed this series, this book left me with mixed feelings. There were new characters and old, which led to both new story lines and resolutions to existing ones. But some of the messages in this one struck me as a little off.

This book is split into three sections, following several years in the life of Claire. The first part takes us back to places we have been before, going back in time a bit to about the time when Jonas' story began. As a mother, her story in this section touched me, heart and soul. The second part of the story takes place in a new society, a society in which Claire is almost as a child. It is the story of Jonas, had we been with him in his time of transition from the world that he left in The Giver until we met him again in Messenger. The third part of the story is the one that ties all of the various story lines of the series together. In this part, we remeet a lot of the characters from other books and many of the subplots are brought to the foreground.

The first three books showed us three very different utopian/dystopian worlds, worlds with different values, priorities, and issues. As someone obsessed with cultural anthopology, I loved this premise. I loved that it made me question my own thoughts and beliefs. But I felt like that was greatly lacking in this book. The society from the second section wasn't really created like the others; it was just sort of there, like a place filler. By the time she made it to the society that we first met in Messenger, that group was largely healed. There was little conflict to be seen. That came from an outside force that needed to be battled in the traditional good versus evil battle. But none of this happened until very late in the book, making the entire thing feel a bit rushed. And the conclusion itself really left me feeling a bit unfulfilled. The previous books were deep, full of questions about human nature, choices, sacrifice, priorities, and values. The conclusion just seemed rather anticlimatic and a little banal in comparison.

The other thing I had hoped for was answers. I wanted to know what happened to the other societies. Did they change? Did they get worse or better? The only one that we ever really saw any transformation in was the one of Messenger and the last portion of Son, the society of outcasts.

Things to love...

--Revisiting places and characters.
--Getting answers to some of the questions from other books.

Things I wanted more/less of...

--More depth to the resolution.
--More resolution about the other societies.

My Recommendation: While it may have been my least favorite of the series, it is still a good read and a relatively satisfying conclusion to the series. I gave it 4.5 mugs. ( )
  Kiki870 | Oct 28, 2014 |
Summary: Claire never really had any plans for her future, but she was still disappointed when she was selected to be a Birth Mother at her Ceremony of Twelves - despite her parents' reassurances, everyone knows Birth Mother is not a particularly prestigious job. But when her first pregnancy goes wrong, and they have to cut the Product out of her, soon she doesn't even have that to hang onto. She's transferred to a new job, but she makes a secret vow that she will one day find her baby - her son. But that path is longer than even she could have realized, because her baby is Gabe, the infant that Jonas took with him when he fled the Community. Claire must leave as well, but how will she find her way in a world that's unlike anything she's ever experienced?

Review: The action in this book takes place in three sections - one with Claire in the Community, as she's a young woman, one where she is living in a pre-industrial village and suffering from amnesia regarding her former life, and then the third where she has encountered the Tradesmaster and come to the town where Jonas and Kira and Gabe are now living. So this book echos the three books that came before, in a way, and my opinions about this book tally fairly well with my opinions about those books.

Specifically, the first two parts were pretty enjoyable. It was interesting to see another side of the Community other than Jonas's, and although I still have issues with "how things got to be this way", I was able to suspend disbelief enough to just go with the story most of the time. The second part was equally interesting, nice to see Claire grow up and learn to interact with the people around her. However, a lot of this part is taken up by what, in the movie version of this book, would be condensed into a training montage, so I thought that could have been a little quicker.

It's the third part where things went awry, much like the third book that I really didn't care for. In theory, I don't mend the melding of sci-fi and fantasy, but so much of this book (and the ones before it) is spent building this dystopian world (or worlds, in the various villages), that all of a sudden you toss in some magic, and some magical realism, and some woo-woo blathering about the human spirit or something, and that's where you lose me. This book, and the series as a whole, would have been so much better if the Trademaster didn't exist. But as is, I enjoyed the first two thirds of the book - they're not perfect, but they're enjoyable - and then I spent the last third rolling my eyes out of my head. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Better than I thought it was going to be (translation: better than Messenger), and fans of The Giver will enjoy it for sure. It needs to be read after The Giver for sure, but would probably be understandable without reading Gathering Blue or Messenger - it'd been years since I'd read them and I'd forgotten most of the details, and I still followed along just fine. ( )
  fyrefly98 | Oct 2, 2014 |
What a perfect ending to the world of the Giver. Lois Lowry ending the book with so much creativty. Nothing in this book was a let down and it was a great way to get the answers that we wanted for so long. ( )
  jaelynculliford | Oct 1, 2014 |
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In memory of Martin
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The young girl cringed when they buckled the eyeless leather mask around the upper half of her face and blinded her.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0547887205, Hardcover)

They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive?  She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.

Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of the Newbery Medal winning book, The Giver, as well as Gathering Blue and Messenger where a new hero emerges. In this thrilling series finale, the startling and long-awaited conclusion to Lois Lowry’s epic tale culminates in a final clash between good and evil.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:48 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Unlike the other Birthmothers in her utopian community, teenaged Claire forms an attachment to her baby, feeling a great loss when he is taken to the Nurturing Center to be adopted by a family unit.

(summary from another edition)

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