An Illusion of Control

February 10, 2013 at 1:06 pm (Book Commentary) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


I could live, quite happily, in the world of The Giver.

There, in that organized black and white world, I would know what to do and when. My life would be perfectly planned out from birth to death. Everything would be structured; I would never have to ponder why. I could be happy there.

There you knew your place within the system. There I would be just a cog in the wheel, it would be someone else’s responsibility to make sure that I ran right.

As long as they gave me time to read I would be happy, ecstatic even.

But they wouldn’t allow books, would they? Books cultivate ideas and ideas are subversive. Ideas would contra-mind their principles.

And I couldn’t be happy without books.

Out of Control Weather

After nineteen years, Lois Lowry has completed The Giver Quartet. How poetic: a quartet. It brings to mind cellos and violins. It brings to mind precise sounds and the discipline of never ending practice. I write. I can’t imagine taking almost twenty years to complete a story.  I like my writing compressed and self-contained, like my life.

I would find it excruciating to wait twenty years to find out what happens next; to discover how the story ends.

Which is why I hardly ever start reading a series. What if I die before the author does, I’ll never know the ending then.

But sometimes, the author tricks you!

I didn’t know that The Giver was the beginning of something bigger. It seemed complete within its self which was why each new book was a delightful discovery.


A delightful discovery – like running into an old friend that one has not thought of in years.

I read a lot of mysteries. I’ve been reading mystery and suspense since before Nancy Drew.  I guess I started with Encyclopedia Brown and his friends.

And of course, like most teenage girls I knew, I devoured anything by Caroline B. Cooney.

I first met Janie when she was the face on the milk carton and was delighted to find, as I was recently searching for an ebook to read, that there is an ebook short story and a fifth book that concludes this realistic saga.

I may not be able to live in the Giver’s world (I would lose my books) and Janie’s world is too real.

I like to be able to control my illusions because I cannot control my life.

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