Son is the final instalment of the Giver Quartet which was published close to 20 years after the original book. I have previously reviewed The Giver, Gathering Blue and Messenger. This series of YA novels have entertained me during my solitary drives for the last couple of months. For those new to audiobooks, the YA format is often an easy genre to listen to in the car.
The last novel shares the story of Claire. Although she was not specifically named in The Giver, she was Gabe’s birth mother (a mere vessel). Her baby was the infant that was not conforming and sleeping through the night requiring extra care by Jonas and his family. Claire escaped the dystopic community injured and with amnesia. She was nursed back to health and eventually remembered the baby that she had delivered. The pull towards her child was strong and she prepared diligently for her dangerous journey to find him.
Her quest came with the risk of death or injury. Her physical preparation and commitment provided her the strength necessary for the dangerous journey. At the top of her climb out of the community, she met the Trademaster and was forced to make a decision resulting in a trade for assistance in finding Gabe.
The final instalment included themes of good vs. evil, the love and sacrifice of a parent, the yearning a child has for his mother and the support and care of a community. Gabe and Claire each faced struggles, needed to face their fears and had to make decisions to help the one that they loved.
I enjoyed the connection of the 4 stories even though this was not obvious at first. The Giver would be my favourite but as a sucker for happy endings, I appreciated learning what came next in the subsequent books. Lowry has done a great job writing a book that helps young adults think about family, community and decision making in a dystopic world (or actually several dystopic communities).