Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” —Groucho Marx

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Giver by Lois Lowery--a review

Once again, my grandson, Noah, has recommended a book for Grandma to read.   I will admit, we watched the movie before I read the book, but it was an interesting read.   He has not read my recommended reads to him as yet.    He is now tackling the Bible and refuses to read anything else until he completes his mission.  How about that for a fifteen year old?


Featuring photographic artwork from the feature film on the cover, this handsome edition of The Giver is perfect for fans of the movie and the literary classic. Lois Lowry's 1994 Newbery Medal–winning tale has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on Jonas who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.


This is what I like to call a what if read.  The book is an easy read as it gently rolls through Jonah's growth into a "twelve" where he receives his life long assignment as the community's new receiver.    During the early chapters we learn about the idyllic community.   We learn about the assignments and how  the community class structure results from those assignments.    As the children grow, they are expected to do volunteer hours which will help the elders determine who qualifies for what life long assignment.    Everything has rules and there is punishment if rules are ignored.  It is a very structured and controlled community.    And it is perfect in the eyes of those who live there without the burden of past memories.

When Jonas meets the Old Receiver, he begins his training to retain the memories for the community.He comes to understand that there is a truth that most citizens will never realize and it causes conflict within himself.    The later chapters detail Jonas 's escape from the community that isn't nearly the picture of perfection it had previously been.

What if the life we live is a lie?   What if what we think is righteous is not?    What if we have been taught one way when there may be a better alternative?   What if we were deprived of every choice and the beauty of the world around us?   Would we be content to live as always if we knew there was an alternative or would we want....freedom to choose how we live?

The Giver is a very thought provoking book.   It is written well, flows smoothly and reads easily.   It isn't what I'd call fast paced, but it is steady.   The characters are well developed and reactive to their story and situation.     I am definitely looking forward to the other three books in the quartet.

I rated this read  5 Winks.....awesome for feeling and depth of thought.

Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.    I purchased this book for my own personal collection.

1 comment:

aparajita said...

I liked the movie but i still need to read the book.

Great Review:)
Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex