It made me think more than any other book I had read before.
I still remember reading a big portion of it on an airplane headed who-knows-where, thinking through all the concepts that I had never really thought through before. The freedom to choose. The beauty of colors, of differences, of memories. The good and the bad, all coming together to make life rich and rewarding.
So when it was on Grace’s reading list this year I was excited to read it with her.
As we were reading Claire started listening in too.
Then Elle started reading it separately, and Max too.
I ate up the opportunity to discuss so many ideas and concepts with all the kids. Thinking about how grateful we are we don’t have “sameness” here…especially here, and how rich and wonderful the world is with vibrancy and choices and love and even hardships.
We were fascinated by the book, especially reading it while reading up and learning so much about “sameness” while living in a communist country (totally not like the book, but still food for thought).
After we read the book we watched the movie. (We watched it in little snippets…part of it at home before the Chinese DVD we bought quit working, part in the car, part on a computer….the act of trying to watch movies here is sometimes entertainment in and of itself, which makes me laugh that this is the place we’ve watched the most family movies.) At first all of us were frustrated that the movie was SO different from the book. What? Jonas is 17?? The commander lady wasn’t even at the big ceremony?? Fiona is wonderfully talented at working with children and not with the elderly??
Changes like these in movies normally make me mad but we ended up loving the movie. They twisted it a totally different way and probably Lois Lawry would not be oh-so-happy about it, but I loved how the movie made me think, and in a different way from how the book did. There is one scene at the end that made me want to shout on the rooftops how amazing and beautiful this life of ours really is. And how incredibly lucky we all are, as humanity, to be able to experience it. Yes, the good and the bad. The tough and the easy. The depth and breath of human existence. This scene spoke to me like not many have before, and brought tears spilling out of my eyes…mostly the part where it just flips through scene after scene of “life” in such a beautiful way.
I found this video on YouTube a while ago and stuck it on here but now it won’t let me watch it, saying “this video is not available in your country” so I hope this is still the right one…
Did you feel it? The glory of life? How grateful I am for books like The Giver, and how they make me and my family think…and appreciate life like never before.