“Lowry is once again in top form raising many questions while answering few, and unwinding a tale fit for the most adventurous readers.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
This is a fantastic book that I should have read years ago. Published in 1993, it seems to be the forerunner for all the dystopian novels that followed it over the years.
Picture life in a community ruled by Sameness. There are no differences and the rules ensure that this is maintained. There are no choices either for individuals. What children should learn at each age, who should take up which job, who should marry whom and which children couples should be given, are all decided by a set of people vested with this duty.
Is it better to live a life without experiencing happiness so that you never know what sorrow is?
Should you be able to fall in love despite the possibility of heartbreak?
Is foregoing the bliss of seeing something beautiful worth never feeling the pain of loss?
These are the questions 12 yo Jonas grapples with, when he is selected as a receiver of all the memories the others in the community no longer have.
A child is the protagonist of this story that is written very simply but deals with very complex themes that raise a lot of questions.
The wisdom of appreciating having something more than grieving over its loss has never been more relevant than when reading this book.
Added 10th August 2020
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
Welcome to the dystopian world created by the author where everything is black and white with shades of gray and the residents enjoy a life of sameness.
I thought it was well written, deeply disturbing and a thought provoking read.
The protagonist of the story is Jonas and his idyllic life ends when he is chosen as the “Receiver” who is the one person different from everyone else since he is the keeper of all memories.
The present receiver becomes the “Giver” and transfers those memories to Jonas. As he becomes more aware of what the past was like and how much more there was to life…being different, knowing emotions and what a true family was he is not satisfied with life as he knew it but wants to go to the elsewhere.
It is an excellent story and well worth reading for all ages.
Added 16th January 2018