For the Red River Valley Writing Project Grand Forks Book Club's November meeting, we read Son by Lois Lowry. Son is the final book in The Giver quartet and has the enormous task of wrapping up a beloved series. For this, Lowry goes back to Jonas's community and explores the life of Claire, Gabe's birth mother.
Claire is a normal girl, who is chosen to be a Birth Mother. Nothing in her life is hard or difficult, until she "produces" her first baby. Something goes wrong and no one will tell Claire what. They do tell her that the baby survived, but she will no longer be able to be a Birth Mother. In her new life and her new career, the idea of her child haunts her. Who is he? Who will he become? What is his name? These questions torment Claire and she makes a monumental decision: find her son.
Everyone who came to Book Club had read the whole series so we were able to talk about the impact of the final novel and how it resolved some issues. Kristine brought up the point that Lowry's language had changed from the first book to the last - she defines unfamiliar terms like "product" or "ceremony" rather than leaving them for the reader to interpret. Pam suggested an alternate order to reading the quartet (a machete order, if you will): The Giver, the first two books of Son (read until Claire climbs out), Gathering Blue, Messenger, and then the end of Son. This is roughly a chronological reading.
--Andrea Scherer, Book Club Coordinator
For December, we will be reading Bomb: The Race to Build - and Steal - the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin.