I didn’t know that The Giver has companion novels, not until recently. After looking at the synopses of the two companion novels closely, I found the stories promising enough to convince me to buy the books.
Here’s the plot description from the back cover of the book:
Kira, an orphan with a twisted leg, lives in a world where the weak are cast aside. She fears for her future until she is spared by the all-powerful Council of Guardians. Kira is a gifted weaver and is given a task that no other community member can carry out. While her talent keeps her alive and brings certain privileges, Kira soon realizes that she is surrounded by many mysteries and secrets. No one must know of her plans to uncover the truth about her world—and to find out what exists beyond it.
The setting in this book is far different from The Giver. I think the story happens several years after Jonas’ time. The people are now capable of seeing colors and feelings, whereas in The Giver, these things are non-existent. There are still some aspects, though, that remain the same, such as the naming of the citizens and the way the society is still controlled by the authority. But looking at it from a distance, the community this time is more complex than during Jonas’ time. Readers cannot overlook the fact that there’s an emergence of social class inequality already.
Moving on, the protagonists of the book are young and gifted. Kira and Thomas possess great and unique talent, waiting to be fully realized. We get to have glimpses of this when we are told of their first masterpiece. And in return, their works hold mysterious power – it somehow connects with them much to their surprise. It’s like the object has a mind and body of its own, but only so during dire situations, when they need guidance and reassurance. It is in this aspect where readers can distinguish how a work created from one’s heart can bring life as compared to one that is merely forced.
I really like how Kira, Thomas, and Matt’s friendship develops and strengthens. Their diverse personalities balanced out when they’re together, like three different puzzle pieces forming a perfect picture when fit together. Even at their age, it can be seen that they have each other’s backs, helping with what the other is incapable of doing.
Furthermore, the message the book tries to reveal definitely has depth in it. The story allows room for readers to discuss certain issues presented. Evidently, we can see the reality of injustice of those who are stronger and physically “perfect” over those who are imperfect, taking advantage and manipulating the weak. On the surface, it may seem that the society is regulated, when in fact, it’s merely a fabricated society, hiding the flawed reality. Oppression and discrimination has become prevalent among people. I believe this is what Kira has experienced and this discovery of eye-opening truth about freedom and true value of talent will affect her decision in life and in her future.
Lois Lowry has done it again. I enjoy reading her works because the books make me ponder the deeper meanings the author tries to portray. This story is very relatable to the people because it happens in real life. Plus, readers can easily empathize with the characters because that’s how true and honest the characters are with their feelings. The only downside I have, though, of this book is that I would have wanted to know more about what will happen next, especially to Kira, Thomas, Matt, and Jo’s lives. Oh well, time to move on. Can’t wait to read the next book!