The Giver

The Giver - Lois Lowry The story takes place in a 'dystopian utopia', where everything and everyone is a matter of plan and design. Everyday life exists in a formulaic vacuum of routines and rituals, and where the citizens are completely complaint. It raises the question of the seemingly non-existence of free will; no one (from the youngest to the oldest) questions the mandate. The 'brainwashing' seems total and complete, but for the carrier of memories. He/she is the only one who has access to the collective recall of humankind, and in that, lies the seed of choice, and by extension, (the option of) rebellion.

This is a story of an absolute -- an extreme, but it might make one think about what (and how much) we, society at large, accept as social norms and mores are no more than conditioning that has been handed down through the generations. While I don't fully understand the banning of this book in certain quarters, I can see how it might be disconcerting to some, who thereafter seek to limit its audience.

There are 3 other books to round out this quartet: 'Gathering Blue', 'Messenger', and 'Son'.