Posted by: Corina Paraschiv | December 5, 2008

Gossamer by Lois Lowry

I was intrigued by the title which is why I picked up this book.  This was the perfect read after The Giver.  It contrasted with The Giver because it was much more positive, much lighter, an easier (and much faster) read, and a generally dreamy book.  Unlike The Giver, I do not believe this book was meant to make you reflect in depth about deep philosophical questions – it takes much more the form of a fairy tale, longer in format than we are used to, but with the same sense of wonder, marvel and beauty to it.

There are certain points in common with The Giver however, parallels that made me smile while reading Gossamer; Lois Lowry seems to have a particular affinity with dreams, as this, like in The Giver, is the central theme of the book.  Furthuremore, the pattern is repeated, with an elderly transfering his knowledge to the new one, and leaving that new one to step up and take his place in society once the transfer is done.  When I think of other authors, it does not seem such a common pattern – in Narnia, in His Dark Materials, in the Dream Hunters, in The Naming, in The Hobbit, the format is not quite the same, it is more of a journey shared with friends.  In contrast, both The Giver and Gossamer involve very little characters, and involve a journey completely in solo and always through some formal exchange of knowledge with an experienced one – like a protege.  Another theme that seems to be predominent is conformity and identity, the protagonists always seem to inhabit very monotone-like, organized societies that mirror themselves very well.  Only, if in The Giver, difference was not tolerated, in Gossamer, it is at least considered, pondered on, and recognized by the Elderly.

I wouldn’t say this is a deep book that will open your eyes but certainly one passage at least has warmed my heart.  The sort of “Conclusion” to the storyline — the one that gives the entire book its dreamyness and wonder.

If you need a positive, happy, easy read, this is the book you’re looking for.  Full of imagination, dreams, and possibilities.

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