Review: Son by Lois Lowry
Author: Lowry, Lois
Length: 400 pages
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopia
Publisher / Year: Houghton Mifflin / 2012
Source: Lori saw this at Book Expo America and snagged me a copy after hearing me talk about how much I wanted to read it – thank you so much Lori!
Why I Read It: I’ve previously read two of the other books in the quartet Lowry has written.
Date Read: 21/07/12
What does choice really mean? How important is it? And what about freedom? Should we always have the free reign to do what we think is best? Lowry explores these and many more issues in the final installment in her Giver quartet which includes the previously published books The Giver, Gathering Blue, and The Messenger. In this dystopian world of small communities, each exists to a certain extent self-sufficiently and separate from any other communities. And each community has developed their own routing and ritual for surviving.
The main character, Claire, is a young girl living in a community in which all tasks are chosen and meted out in an orderly fashion. There are many rules and rituals which keep people apart and working as efficiently as possible. When Claire’s life changes, she begins to question everything, and ends up doing the only thing she feels she can, which is to take charge of her own life.
Through the book Lowry keeps the reader engaged and explores big topics in a way that never seems heavy-handed. As with many dystopian / utopian books, we see the society where everyone looks the same, or is at least the same proportions. No one exists with any handicaps or different ability levels. While these are shown as actual possibilities, they are also explored as the reader encounters other communities and sees why these aren’t necessary and why it in no way contributes to any real advancement. Although extremes are shown, they are usually counteracted through other characters or communities, giving a more well-rounded view of possibilities.
Interesting book, engaging, well-written, and one which will be enjoyed by all who have read and loved the others in the series. The ending lost me a little, but other than that, a great read.