Some book recommendations for cold evenings

The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry. 

This is a very good collection to consider. It consists of four books, each set in an utopian / anti-utopian world of the future.

In The Giver we meet Jonas, a boy who lives in an isolated community where everyone is assigned a role he or she has to play in the society. It’s a world without true families, friends, feelings, colours, or choices. The protagonist is given a special task. He’s to inherit the position of the Receiver of Memory, the only person who remembers and stores the history of the community. It’s quite fascinating and painful at the same time…

Gathering Blue is the next book in the series. We meet Kira, a disabled girl in a world where imperfections of human nature are not tolerated. The community in which Kira grows up does not usually allow people like her to survive, leaving them in the fields to die of hunger, thirst or to be devoured by wild animals. But Kira has a special talent which saves her life…

In Messenger, we meet Jonas again, this time an adult man living in a completely different surroundings. He is the Leader of a village whose inhabitants are people excluded from other communities: the weak, the disabled, the different. The Village inhabitants accept everyone, without question… however, their altruistic nature changes over time, as more and more people arrive at the gates… In this book, we also meet characters from Gathering Blue, who play a special role in the life of the Leader.

The last book in the series, Son, takes us back to the isolated community from part 1. Claire is a teenager who is assigned the role of a birth mother by the authorities. This basically means she will first give birth to children and then give them away as ‘products’ who must be raised by other, artificially created families. She manages to escape this cruel world and finds herself in another one, where she’s prepared to fight for the child she once had.

What I like most in this kind of literature is the fact that the created worlds are fascinating, scary and absurd, all at once.

Sometimes you want to scream out to the people in the books to  make them aware of how much they’re being controlled.  It may seem strange, but when they finally come to see the big picture, the whole utopia world seems even more shocking to you! And then you start thinking about the world around you and the things you always take for granted.

assign a role – przypisać rolę

inherit – odziedziczyć

disabled – niepełnosprawny

inhabitant – mieszkaniec

protagonist – główny bohater

artificial – sztuczny

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