Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Title: The Giver
Author: Lois Lowry
Publisher: Ember
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Blurb: Jonas' world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

This book was the very thing I have been looking for in quite a long time. I know this because upon reading the last word, a shiver crept through me and my eyes began to sting with longing for more.

Jonas lives in an ideal world. Conflict does not exist. Poverty, injustice and divorce are unheard of. There is no color in his community. Everything is nondescript. Each December, children who reach the age of 12 are given a job that was selected to fit their aptitudes. Jonas is given more, for as of age twelve, he must bear atop his shoulders a weight equivalent to a million mountains.

When I finished the book, I asked myself why on earth it took me so many years to finally read it. I've seen this book around since I was ten years old, and now, six years later, I am glad that I did not read it earlier. Had I done so, I might not have understood the beauty in the simplicity of the language. I might not have understood the importance in distinction. I might not have felt the sting of tears at the idea that there could be a world without love and loss. Without pain and joy. 

Jonas lives in this indifferent life, and it was certainly something new for me to perceive. The idea behind the story is very bizarre, but definitely atmospheric. The setting was such that the colorless world seemed almost palpable to me.

And the characters! Their conformity with the rules was very well executed. The characters did not come off as card boards even though they felt nothing they were not taught to feel. In all honesty, until about halfway through, I began to wonder myself what was so rotten about the nondescript life they lived in. It was that real. I thought everything really worked. There is no struggle! But there is also no choice.

I would recommend this book to everyone. Though it was written for children, the depth between the lines is enough to fill up anyone with wonder. 

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