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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Book Thoughts: Son by Lois Lowry part 2

by J.R. Wagner

 This is part 2 of this post. Click below for part 1.
Part 1

 Warning:  Spoiler Alert!!!! As always, I like to think of this as a collection of thoughts rather than a review.

 As I was saying (in part 1) Son is broken into three parts.  Of all three, I found the second most enjoyable. 

After escaping on board a supply boat, Claire finds herself in a small village by the sea having shipwrecked and lost all memory of how she got there.  She recovers and regains some of her memories -most importantly that she has a son for whom she is is bent upon finding. 

The village is situated at the base of sheer cliffs. There are two ways to leave the village.  First is by sea, which Claire has no desire to attempt due to her fear of the water.  Second is up the cliffs.  Only one villager has ever made it to the top of the cliffs. (only to be tossed back down and crippled in the process)

Claire decides to try for the top of the cliffs under the guidance of Einar (the guy who made it up...then tossed off).  Her training begins. When she is finally ready to make the climb.  Six years have passed. I really enjoyed her training, which was far from boring or monotonous.

It had been six years now since the day she had been carried from the sea, and five since the morning that Elen's birth had returned the memory of her son to her.  Somewhere he would be a half-grown boy; running, shouting, playing.

The Climb

The climb out spans four chapters and is covered in meticulous detail.  You feel as though you are there with Claire with every hand-hold, every step up, every slip.

It took Claire longer than she had expected to make her way through the narrow shadowed tunnel that the crevice had formed.  It was not life-threatening, as the rope-assisted passage across the cliff face had been.There was no sheer drop here. 
Does she make it up?  Yes.  What I will not divulge is what waits for her at the top.  I had envisioned all sorts of men and monsters yet none were quite so terrible as what Claire eventually faced. But face it she does.

Part three of the book is less about Claire (which I found disappointing because she is such a compelling character) and more about her son, Gabe.  Because I have not read Gathering Blue or Messenger, I was not aware that Jonas and Gabe had survived their trek over the mountain (and was somewhat disappointed to find out that they had, mostly because in the back of my mind I wonder whether keeping them alive was best for the story) but it was immediately apparent in part three of this book that both are alive and well.

The story seems to slow at this point.  I suppose if I had more invested into these characters (by reading books 2 and 3) I would have enjoyed spending more time with them but my only focus was on Claire, who was a peripheral character for much of this part of the story.

I will not ruin the details of the ending.  I'll say I wasn't thrilled with the wrap-up -but I'm one of those readers who like endings that make you think (like The Giver) more often than endings that leave you feeling satiated.

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