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Review: Son by Lois Lowry

October 1, 2012

Son coverTitle: Son
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!
Rating: 4.5/5
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 GiverGathering 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.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. Brian Joseph permalink
    October 1, 2012 9:23 am

    I just heard a radio interview with Lowry where she discussed this entire series. I have had never heard of it before but it sounds very good and the author is interesting.

    I have always really like Dystopian books and this one sounds like it is well written and imaginative.

    • October 18, 2012 9:31 pm

      It’s a really great series of books Brian. I recommend it!

  2. zibilee permalink
    October 1, 2012 10:53 am

    I have never read The Giver, but really want to read all the books in this series. It sounds like they have a lot of interesting ideas strewn through them. Great review on this one today!

    • October 18, 2012 9:31 pm

      I think you’d like them zibilee, as would your daughter!

  3. October 1, 2012 11:10 am

    I haven’t read any of these books but it sounds like they give you a lot to think about. I can see why kids read this in school.

  4. October 1, 2012 4:56 pm

    I am listening to the Giver now. I dont know what the second book ir but I will find out and I have this one from last ears BEA as well. Excited to read it!

  5. October 1, 2012 10:59 pm

    I’ve only read The Giver, so I’m well behind. I’m glad you have continued to enjoy the books. I think I’d need to go back and reread The Giver before moving on.

  6. October 2, 2012 1:07 pm

    I’m so excited to read this one! I think I’ve even decided to re-read the first three in anticipation. I thought it would be a fun way to spend the read-a-thon:-)

  7. October 4, 2012 8:06 am

    Sounds like a fascinating read and a sort of empowerment with Marie taking charge of her own life.

  8. LovebooksinBtown permalink
    October 4, 2012 9:28 am

    Isnt the main character “Claire” not “Marie”? Who is Marie?

    • October 18, 2012 9:35 pm

      Hmm. Not sure how I got that wrong LovebooksinBtown – thanks!

  9. October 4, 2012 9:15 pm

    I’ve read The Giver and loved it. But I didn’t go back to the rest of the series. Are they all essentially standalone books with no continuity between them?

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