Claire is a birthmother in the community in which The Giver, the first book in this series, took place. But something goes wrong during the birth and she is moved on to a new role. She finds herself longing for the baby that was born to her, which is unusual since no one else in the community has feelings like this. Events take her to a new community by the sea. Then she travels to the community we encountered in Messenger. All along the way, her mind is always on her son.
Son (Giver Quartet, Book 4) by Lois Lowry is the final book in the series. It brings together all four of the previous books, the characters and storylines, in a way that is satisfying to a certain degree. I enjoyed Claire's character very much, perhaps the most of all the characters. She was easy to relate to and most of her choices seemed realistic, although I can't figure out how she got away with some of the things she did in the original community.
But there are many issues with this book as well. So many questions are not answered, especially about the world and why it is the way it is, why each community is so different from the others and why they don't interact. I was hoping to find closure on some of these questions. In addition, the fantasy elements in this one seemed a bit overboard compared to some of the others, which sounds odd since the first book featured someone passing memories on to someone else by touching him!
When I first started this series, I would have characterized it as middle-grade fiction; however, this last book in the series definitely falls more into the young adult realm. A central theme throughout the book is reproduction and childbirth. While none of these things are overtly discussed, the book does reference insemination, cesarean vs. natural childbirth, birth control pills and the notion of humans mating in the same manner as animals. My 5th grader read this book before me, and I don't think he truly understood all of the references to these things, but I still don't think I would have recommended this book if I had known about the topics it would cover. Let's just say that I was glad we've had "the talk" already so he didn't come at me with a million questions!
With that said, if you read the rest of the series, you have to read Son. It brings everything and everyone together in an interesting way. I loved seeing how things were interconnected, and hearing a different perspective of the original community that we were introduced to in The Giver. I was just hoping for a few more answers.
My Rating: 3.5/5
Read my reviews of the other books in this series:
This review was based on a copy of Son that I borrowed from the library.