This post is a part of the “Let Me Introduce You” series here on my blog. If you are new here and/or curious, click here to check out what that means. If not, just continue to read as normal – you don’t need any background information to read any of these posts.
This is a spoiler free post – so read on without fear!
This series of books by Lois Lowry is completely mind blowing. Granted, I am a major bookworm; I may be a tiny bit persuaded by awe. But there is a reason these books have become classics in the eyes of so many. Most people only know the first book, The Giver. Everyone I talk to seems to be surprised when I mention that I read the entire series. Even I didn’t realize it was a series until I received them all as a gift. Surprise! There are four of them! They have been sitting on my shelf for some time, but a few months ago I finally committed to reading all of them. And wow.
I first read The Giver when I was in sixth grade. I’ll admit that the ending confused me, but I thought that I was probably missing something and I just moved on. Later, when looking back, I thought that perhaps it had some metaphorical meaning and I just couldn’t puzzle it out. When I was finally enlightened to the fact that there are sequels a light bulb went on above my head. The Giver didn’t really change much about me back then. I wasn’t inspired to look deeper into myself or ponder how I saw the world – as I would when I read it for the second time. I think I needed to have a bit more experience in the writing and reading world before I could look at the book with mature and thoughtful eyes.
When I read the series earlier this year, the way I looked at people and the world completely changed. I refuse to give out any spoilers, but I do want to drop a few thoughts in here about some of the Christian ideas I saw in the series – perhaps they will encourage you to read the books! One of the first things I noticed in the transition from reading The Giver to reading Gathering Blue was the huge change in setting – the stories do not yet intertwine in these books, but they will in the third book, never fear. The setting isn’t really my point though. My point is that although Lowry put these two stories in completely different settings, the threads still remain the same. A main one I noticed was the focus on the value of a human life. This ties in a lot with today’s fight against abortion and euthanasia. The secrets and the deception that the communities use to keep the peace disturbingly reflect the society in which we all live. Reading this fictional series opened my eyes to the truth of some of the situations that our world is facing in reality today.
Another very Christian theme I noticed was vocation. It is especially evident in The Giver and Messenger – but all of the books carry the thread. I thought it was a very interesting how Lowry introduced a few different ideas about identity in the four books he wrote. In the end, the thread of vocation was realized as very Christian, but first Lowry showed how wrong and destructive it can be when people don’t come to realize their vocations on their own.
I would also like to briefly mention that this is one of my favorite love stories. It is not very prominent in the overall scheme of the series, but I am a romantic. I love the idea of soul mates and I think that Lowry really brought that tiny piece of Christianity into the books perfectly. The love in this series makes my soul happy.
I highly suggest reading these books. I would recommend them to teenagers and up though just from my own personal experience. They are very easy reads, but can open many many ideas in your mind so be ready to send your mind reeling when you get into them! I think that they are received better with age. The older you are the more receptive you are to Lowry’s plain writing style with underlying, explosive thought processes.