This young-adult book is the fourth in The Giver Quartet, and brings the story told in The Giver, Gathering Blue, and Messenger to a fitting conclusion.
Claire is born into the Community, and at the Ceremony of Twelve she is chosen to become a Birthmother. She is artificially inseminated, but when the time comes for her to give birth (with her eyes covered, so that she does not see the Product) they take the baby via cesarean. After she heals she is told that she is an unfit Birthmother and is transfered to the Fish Hatchery, but someone forgets to issue her the daily pills (which Birthmothers do not take) which inhibit feelings, libido, and procreation. She knows that her product is #Thirty-Six, and she sneaks chances to see and hold the boy at the Nurturing Center, and becomes friends with the nuturer who takes the boy home with him at night. She knows Jonas (the nature’s son), and knows that the baby was held back a year to see if he would start sleeping through the night. She does not recall much about the day when Jonas and the baby disappeared.
To tell more about the book would be criminal; suffice it to say that Claire’s life then becomes a quest to find her son.
I very much enjoyed my reading of this book, and regret that I am now done with the Quartet.