So here we are, at the final installment of The Giver Quartet entitled Son. Here’s the plot description from the jacket cover of the book:
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.
Lois Lowry once again revisits the community where Jonas first came from, but this time, the story centers on Claire who is assigned as the Birthmother of the community. However, something goes wrong during her labor, so she is reassigned to work at the Fish Hatchery. As time passes, she begins to feel something unexplainable that she soon realizes isn’t present in other people. Her capability of feeling and having emotions separate her from the others and make her yearn to be with her son. Thus, when Jonas escapes with her son, she decides to get him back.
The story is divided into three parts which corresponds to three different communities where Claire has stayed. If you’ve read The Giver, then you already know what kind of community Claire lives in as she grows up. Equality is observed and everything is controlled and organized. It’s as if the authority wishes the community to be made into perfection without any rebellions or protests present. That current state of the community alone seems to deprive the people of their freedom. Having feelings and emotions have also been eradicated to better handle the community. The second community, although not as highly civilized and modernized as the first one, still allows Claire to learn more things that are not taught at her first community. Here, she meets Einar who trains and prepares her to climb the cliff that separates that community from the other – as it’s her only other way to find her son. And lastly, the third community is what we’re familiar with from Messenger. It’s pretty impressive that Lois Lowry incorporates the concept of evil in tangible form and she really portrays it well.
Familiar characters from previous books appear in this one and readers will definitely fall in love with them again. Having read all the books in the series, I’m certainly glad to see them again in this last book. It’s like I’ve been there all their lives as they grew older and matured. Furthermore, as the story progresses, we come to see how all their lives are intertwined and connected with one another.
Overall, the story is enjoyable to read. Son is definitely longer than the other books and Lois Lowry did an amazing job writing the plot in details. However, character development seems to be lacking in Claire and Gabe. I would have wanted to read more of them in the third part of the story, but it seems to be rushed. And there are parts where I feel something lacks – I can’t pinpoint exactly what. I guess I’m still looking for the same depth that the previous books convey to the readers. But aside from that, the book doesn’t disappoint.