heavy sigh…… Well, we just finished listening to this. It was wonderful to spend the past couple of months (longer) listening to all four books right in a row. And, like with others, I can’t believe how much I did not remember about this book. It was as if it was all new to me*. So there was a lot of shock and delight and surprise. And again, listening to the e-audiobook more than once I thought it was done or wrapping up only to find that the book just kept going.
I don’t even really want to say anything about the content or plot. There is A LOT in this one. It’s a very fitting and wonderful conclusion, pulling all the strings together of the previous books, giving time and place to everything.
It truly was a wonderful story and we loved every minute of it. Reading them all together like this made the experience even better as we really felt immersed in this world of the story.
*Though this is my second time with this book. Here’s what I had to say about it the first time., which was eight years ago.
I read this when it first came out and not again until now, when my daughter and I listened to the audiobook together. I have to say, I”m loving this reread of all four books right in a row. It’s really highlighting the connections and enjoyable to figure out the timeline (which was harder to do when you read them years apart.)
So, again, this was listened to in the new car as an e-audiobook. Because we’re not used to the new audio buttons we ended up missing two critical chapters. But that’s ok because I got the book so I could read it and fill in. It’s no secret that it’s much easier for me to follow a story in print than on audio, so I also appreciated skimming over previous chapters. As with the other one, since we didn’t put in discs I was also completely startled when this book ended as I had no idea we were so close to the end. I was also startled and completely surprised by the ending. So much so that I had to wonder if I’d even read this book! (I had.)
For future reference for myself-in this installment the story is taking place in Village, where the harmony is disturbed by personality changes, including wanting to shut Village off to newcomers and the Forest actively attacking people. (wait, what? At this point I was saying “is this book magic? Is there magic in these books that I didn’t remember??”) Mattie goes on a journey to bring Kira back to Village.
This book felt very short to me, but was filled with a lot of striking sentences and imagery. Lowry really is a terrific writer. As with the others, lots to think about in here about the nature of mankind.
I read this book when it first came out many years ago and I loved it. I think it was the first time I’d read a children’s book that talked about a dystopia. Nowadays it’s so common you might say it’s overdone. But at the time it really felt groundbreaking and so thoughtful.
I knew that my daughter hadn’t yet read this and I really really wanted her to, so I made it be our car audiobook. Not surprisingly it won her over just as quickly as it did me. I loved watching her put together the clues about Jonas’s world. This story is every bit as good as it was when it came out, only now we’re going right on ahead and listening to Gathering Blue (and then hopefully keep going with Messenger and Son.)
A well deserved modern classic.
Checking my review from several years ago of Son, I see that I wrote: “I’d be so curious to jump into Lowry’s head and see how she imagines all these various communities fitting together.” The audiobook edition of Gathering Blue began with an intro from Lowry in which she does address that a bit, so I loved hearing that. And rereading my review of Son, I can’t wait to go through all these books again without waiting years in between.