Son by Lois Lowry (Through the Shelf Thursday #10)

Title: Son (The Giver #4)
Author: Lois Lowry
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Fantasy
Description from Goodreads:

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 Messengerwhere 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.

Date I Finished Reading: February, 2013

My Rating: 3 of 5

My Review: (also on GoodreadsAmazon):

Lois Lowry changed how I appreciated books.

Whenever I read The Giver as a young man (I’m assuming I was in middle or early high school) it changed my life.  It is one of the three stories that truly stuck with me growing up (the other two being The Lottery and Of Mice and Men).

The setting was haunting and the characters were real, at least they were to me.  I understood what Jonas was going through and was immersed in his trial and wanted to see him overcome.

I wish I could say the same for Lowry’s fourth – and final – book in the Giver series, Son.  It was good and I am very glad I read it, but it left me wanting a different ending.  A very different ending.

The plot line is intriguing; being able to go back and learn about the girl – Claire – who had to give her babe Gabe up in the first book.  Seeing her point of view as the story unfolds.  I was pulled in right away and turning the pages.  I liked how Lowry developed Clair and her character.

I enjoyed the first 2/3 of the book.  We know what Clair is after and there is a nice twist in the second act of the book that curtails that longing for a bit.  Lowry does a great job changing the pace and the scenery and helping Claire to grow.  She is in a new surrounding with new people…the exact opposite of the gated life she has known.  The story drags in places, but it can be overlooked because the characters are endearing and the focus never veers off Claire.

Then we get to the last act of the book and…the story jumps the shark (so to speak).  The whole point of the book is that Claire is trying to find her ‘son’.  Well, through a series of events, she finds him, but there is no interaction.  Lowry builds some plot points to try and keep Claire from her son, but they don’t work, at least not for this reader.  The supposed conflict to keep them apart is contrived and when Claire and her son finally do meet…nothing.  Lowry has dragged me through this emotional attachment for no payoff, yet the final scene she still expects me to care about the characters?  I don’t think so.  I was very, very disappointed.

If you have read the other books in the Giver series, it’s worth the read, I promise.  But it will unfortunately (probably) not live up to your expectations.  And writing that makes me sad, but in the end I’m thankful for the journey.

Have you read ‘Son’?  What did you think?

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