I couldn’t wait to start reading Lois Lowry’s new book, Son. I loved The Giver , Gathering Blue, and Messenger, the other books in the series. Although it had been probably twelve years since I last read it, I remembered many of the details of The Giver and a little from the other books. I thought about rereading The Giver before starting Son, but decided I would just dig in and read the book as if I were a new reader approaching it. Of course, my previous knowledge about the community influenced and supported my beginning reading, but I believe the book stands on its own.
Son opens with fourteen-year-old Claire in the process of giving birth. She has been given the job of “birthmother” in the community, although she is told nothing about the process of giving birth. I found myself instantly drawn in to the drama of this young woman, a 14 year-old, giving birth and knowing nothing about what was happening to her or about her child after the birth. I remembered how in The Giver, the people of the community had no free will, were assigned jobs, went through life without emotions, color, rain, or sunshine. Similarly, in the first section of Son, Claire gives birth by caesarian to a child who is immediately taken away from her at birth. She is expected not to care about what happens to him. But in the confusion surrounding a difficult birth and her reassignment to the Fish Hatchery, Claire isn’t given the pills that prevent emotion. Claire cannot forget her baby and is willing to risk her life to find him. Continue reading