The much awaited conclusion to The Giver quartet, Son pulls together Lois Lowry’s three previous books in the series—The Giver (1993), Gathering Blue (2000), and Messenger (2004)—with the tale of Claire, a 14-year-old girl born into the same controlling community as The Giver. Having been assigned the roll of “Birther,” Clair finds herself living in a secluded sub-community with other women who have been assigned the same fate. After complications with Clair’s first delivery, however, she is released from her duties and reassigned to work in the fish hatchery. When Clair finds out that the product of her pregnancy survived the birth complications, however, she makes it her mission to find the baby.
About halfway through the novel, the story takes a turn towards an almost fairy tale like feel. Morphing into the mother archetype searching for her lost son, Clair faces a classic epic struggle, complete with a detailed battle against a cloaked, unnamed demon.
Like each of the three preceding books, Son can stand alone as its own story, but has a deeper meaning when coupled with the rest of the series. True to Lowry’s form, the book is laced with numerous adult themes, such as suicide, birthing complications, social oppression, good versus evil, love and empathy, and, of course, death. In my mind, The Giver is the original dystopia, and even now as dystopias pack our YA shelves, Lowry’s stories are still original and powerful.