By Lois Lowry.
From the Back Cover:
“Intelligence. Integrity. Courage. Wisdom. These are the qualities a Receiver of Memory must have. And one more can only be named, but not described. The Capacity to See Beyond.
Jonas lives safely within the community, a place where there is no war, no hunger and no pain. But when he is selected as the Receiver of Memory, he starts to discover dark secrets that lie beneath the surface of his perfect world. Secrets that will lead him to undertake an incredible journey…”
A short synopsis:
Jonas is an Eleven fast-approaching the ceremony day in December when he will become a Twelve and when he will receive his Assignment. Jonas is not sure what Assignment he will be given nor which he would like. One thing is for certain and that is that Receiver of Memory was not an Assignment that crossed his mind, nor that of his parents.
The world in which Jonas lives is meticulously organised, nothing is left to chance. The committee of Elders oversee everything, everyone knows their role in the community. Each individual has their Assignment, their job, chosen for them based on their qualities and attributions, a similar method is used to choose one’s Spouse and to place Newchildren with their Family Units. Everything is controlled. Everything is the same.
When Jonas begins to receive the memories of the time before he realises that there is another way to live and that the world in which he lives may not be as safe and good as he had thought. He faces some tough choices but The Giver believes that he will make the correct ones.
Considering that this book is 21years old (almost as old as me) it reads as though it was written a few months ago. Lowry has a forward-thinking writing-brain that has allowed her to create a timless story of hope, discovery and a futuristic dystopia. I can’t think of any dystopian fiction that I have read that rivals The Giver. It is an original concept, I mean no colour? All for the sake of sameness? It’s just unthinkable.
The characters are perfectly crafted, I could feel the Giver’s burden and the pain that the memories had left him with and empathise with him as he had to impart these memories on Jonas. Jonas is a naïve child who has his childhood cruelly snatched away. Due to the way in which their world is run the children are not able to deal with pain or intense indescribable emotions. Neither are the adults. They believe that their world is perfect but how wrong they are. I am glad that Jonas has the strength of mind and character to recognise this. He is one of my favourite characters of all time.
The ending to this book, oh my, my eyes were stinging with tears. This is an incredible book and I for one cannot wait for the film! Once I finished The Giver I dropped it into my Mum’s lap and just said “Read it” thankfully she listened and is currently reading it.