The Chancellor has, of course, read The Giver, and apparently so has everyone else but me. I don’t know why I didn’t read it, but somehow it slipped away. And then, of course, the movie is out, so there’s new buzz. We’re going to see it this weekend, so I decided to read it and get my view of the book first.
So glad I did. What a beautiful and amazing and heartbreaking book. How are they ever going to do it justice in the movie????
Jonas is a member of a community in perfect harmony. There is no fighting, no divorce, no strife. At dinnertime, the family shares feelings. Each year is a ceremony for the children passing into another year, and this year, Jonas is a Twelve, which means adulthood. He is chosen for a new and special task, and this is where he meets The Giver, the receiver of all memories and historical heritage that the community has forgotten or never experienced. And that’s where his life really begins. He experiences deep joy, love, and excruciating pain. And then he is forced to make a decision about his future.
I think Ms. Lowry does an amazing job of configuring what we would consider to be an “ideal” society and then presenting the opposite of what we’d think would come out of it. It begs the question of the role society plays in our individual lives, as well as whether we want to be protected from “evil,” particularly when you understand what “release” really means in this society. I am super excited to read the rest of the novels in this universe.
ETA (sheepishly): initially, this was titled something quippy, because I thought Harrison Ford was in it. The Chancellor had to correct me on it. That’s what I get for living inside my head this summer…