Son by Lois Lowry
SonIn the future in Claire’s closed society, babies are “products” given to parents once a year. People are always pleasant, but no one has strong emotions. They are courteous to each other but not attached. When she is 12, Claire is assigned to be a Birth Mother. Within two years she has a baby. She needs a C-section and can not have any more children. It is only after she is healing that she learns she had a boy. Of course, he is taken from her to the nursery to be raised.
When the baby is over one, Jonas kidnaps him and leaves the community rather than letting the baby be “returned” – euthanized. The baby isn’t placid; he is a happy baby, but is disruptive, has a temper, and won’t sleep through the night. Jonas can’t allow him to be hurt.
When Claire learns about the baby’s disappearance and why, she knows she has to leave the community. She isn’t like everyone else. She has to hide her feelings and not show that the baby boy is special to her. After what almost happens, then with what happens, she has to leave. Now she wants to find Jonas and the baby. She wants to watch her son grow up and become a man.
Lois Lowry’s final book in her Giver series is Son. First I recommend that you read The Giver before reading this older children’s book. That tells Jonas’ story and describes the community. I am glad I recently re-read The Giver before reading Son.
Son is a cautionary tale of a possible future dystopia. But as the other three books in the series show, this world is fragmented into different societies with different methods of governing and surviving. Claire’s and Jonas’ society is chilling in its blandness. Uniformity and conformity are necessary to its way of life.
Lowry has ended her series with an interesting novel that is easy to read. Although written for a younger audience, its message is for everyone. It pulls the reader in to help understand Claire. The ending is uplifting as it ties all four of the books together. While not as powerful as The Giver, Son is a recommended and fascinating read.