Monday, 30 December 2013

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Imagine a society where everything was the same for all people.  A spouse is selected for you, two children - one boy and one girl are provided upon application and when those children are 12 years old their future occupation is selected for them.

Jonas has reached his 12th birthday and he is given a surprising occupation.  He is to be the Receiver of Memories.  All he is told about this role is that this is an honour, it will require bravery and he will feel both pain and pleasure.  Jonas is not at all sure that he actually wants this honour but he has no choice.  However, what he learns will lead him to question everything he has ever known about the community in which he has grown up.

This Christmas my sons decided to drag me kicking and screaming into the 21st century and bought me a lovely shiny new tablet.  A wonderful gift but I have never used one of these before, preferring to stick with my good old laptop.  Admittedly it has seen better days but it has served me faithfully for many years and we have a bit of an understanding and therefore get along rather well together.

So, Christmas morning and one of my clever technically minded sons fills my shiny new tablet with all sorts of apps, one of which was Overdrive Media which enables me to download e-books from the East Sussex e-library.  In setting it up he just picked a book at random to test it and it happened to be The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Having never read it I thought I might as well give it a go and I am so very glad that I did.  It was an amazing book and now I cannot believe that I have never read it before as it was published some time ago but what a treasure to find at the end of 2013.

It is aimed at children but I really think that anyone would enjoy this book.  I certainly did not feel that it was talking down to me as an adult and I found the subject matter to be extremely thought provoking.  In a society that appears perfect, as it does in the novel, it made me consider what we as individuals in the 21st century consider perfection or equality or responsibility, the list could go on.  It is a short book which raises so many questions that I know I shall still be thinking about it some time from now.

My only disappointment was to find that this book is the first in a quartet and I am now hoping that my e-library has the other three books.  The next book in the series is called Gathering Blue and I intend to continue with this series.  I enjoyed this book so much that it made it into my TOP TEN BOOKS OF 2013.

ISBN:  978 0007263513

Publisher:  Harper Collins Children’s Books

Price:  £5.24

Total saved so far:  £110.95

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