I just finished Son, the last book in The Giver series by Louis Lowry. I don’t think I need to add a synopsis, because it feels like by now everyone’s already heard of the series, so I’m just going to do a few short lines of mini-review as a nod to Louis Lowry, and for others to consider if they want to continue the series or not. Sure took me long enough, huh?
I think the most remarkable thing about The Giver Quartet is actually its simplicity. In most cases, during all of the stories, what is discussed- what happens to make up the meat of the novels- is simply everyday life. Lowry spares no details making a world that is so unlike our own and yet so immersible. By the end of the quartet, it’s likely that an observant reader could go into any of the mentioned societies- even the strict-ruled community- and fit right in. But somehow, this attention to rules and everyday life is not boring. In fact, I’d argue that watching how these people live is the most interesting part of the stories. Foreshadowing is greatly used, so while you’re enjoying all of these little activities, you still have a sense of curiosity and unease that will keep you reading. It’s so well done, really, it’s no wonder that this series is so well loved.
Gathering Blue follows the life of Kira, a newly orphaned cripple in a cruel society that finds flaws a justifiable reason for murder. This was probably my favorite book in the series; I loved Kira and Matty and the theme of the impending song. Ultimately as a series, one of my biggest disappointments in The Giver Quartet is that the plot in Gathering Blue wasn’t really elaborated on. In fact, this book seemed to have no importance at all in the grand scheme of things. Had you taken Gathering Blue out of the series, the reader would still be able to perfectly understand everything that happens. Sure, you wouldn’t know Kira as well, but Kira wasn’t important at all in any book except for this one, unlike Jonas, Matty, and Gabe. Not to mention that the main conflict here was left completely unresolved? Not a prize-winner. It makes me wonder whether Lowry had a different direction in mind when she wrote Gathering Blue, but chose to scrap all of that by the time The Messenger came out. It’s actually pretty disappointing, since I’d say Gathering Blue was my favorite book in the series.
Loved this one! I was happy to see Matty grow into a good young man. Lowry has a talent in writing about conflict without violence or direct reproach. I was happy when Trademaster was further explained in Son, and what impressed me most about Messenger was the flow. Lowry’s books were easy to read, and I got the idea that the world was so developed in her mind that they were easy to write, too. These novels are easy to lose yourself in.
And lastly, the big finale. We get to once again delve into the black-and-white world of the community in Son, and it was nice to see Jonas’s story from a different side. I think people that loved The Giver will love Son more than the other two books in the quartet. Has anyone else noticed that Lowry has a thing for wise adults taking care of children in her books? The Giver cared for Jonas, Annabella cared for Kira, Seer cared for Matty, and Alys cared for Claire. Somehow, despite the fact that all of these books seem to have the same wise parent-figure and different variations of the confused young’uns, it just doesn’t get old for me.
What about everyone else? What did you think of the ending? Did you like some books in the series more than the others? Did the writing style resonate for you as well as it did for me? I want to know your thoughts!