Lois Lowry just released the last volume in her set of books that started with The Giver. I hadn’t realized that she was going to write another book in the set; it seemed to all fit together nicely enough with Messenger. So I was pleased to be able to return to the series and read more about its characters. The themes of the books tended to focus on human nature, its failings and beauties, and on the tendency of societies to try to address certain issues (equality or war) and then miss the whole point, making things worse in many ways. So I had certain expectations for this “conclusion” to what is not really a “series” but a set of complementary books.
This book focuses on birthmother Claire, who gives birth in the town where Jonas lived and who ends up deviating from the norm in several ways. She ends up in a seaside village, where she learns new ways of living and thinking, but she longs more than anything to be reunited with the baby she birthed and came to know and love.
There are hardships, challenges, and obstacles, but Claire finds inner and literal strength as she tries to find her son. The biggest obstacle to her happiness and that of others is an evil character who seeks to destroy.
This book was just as lovely as Lowry’s previous books, making the reader empathize with the characters and want to see them finally find happiness and a place to belong. While mostly satisfying, this book didn’t completely seem to fit with the earlier themes in the set in that it is more focused on evil influence that comes solely from the outside rather than within the faulty souls of human beings. It seems almost a little too simplistic to get rid of it so then all will be “well.” Even so, I enjoyed the writing and the story of Claire.