My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Giver (1993) by Lois Lowry is the winner of the Newbery Medal and a story of courage and sacrifice. Jonas lives in a world where there is no war, no pain, no fear, no love, no music, and no color. The weather has long been controlled to eliminate seasons. Hills and mountains have been removed to create plains ideal for agriculture. In sum, the world is perfect and at peace.
In the Community every person is assigned a position upon reaching age twelve. Jonas, however, is selected as a Receiver of Memories and begins work with the Giver, who is the old Receiver and must pass on the memories of countless generations in order for Jonas to become the new adviser to the Elders of the Community. Once Jonas begins to receive memories long forgotten, he begins to see a darker side to the world he lives in. The Community is not so perfect after all.
At times the story does become a bit awkward. For example, Jonas spends one afternoon volunteering with his two friends Asher and Fiona at the House of the Old. Jonas bathes an old woman named Larissa, while Fiona bathes an elderly man. At another point, a graphic scene is described in detail as Jonas watches a video of his father injecting a deadly chemical into the forehead of an infant. The death is considered “normal” in the Community because the infant failed to meet living standards; the infant-boy was smaller than his twin brother and the Community could not allow twins. This death is called the Release (but no one really knows what happens to the citizens behind the closed doors; some think they just go Elsewhere, a land outside the boundaries of the Community).
Lowry’s account of Jonas’s struggle to overcome his chosen destiny is heartbreaking and profound. The writing quickly draws the reader into the story and keeps her there. Although The Giver is meant for children, it does offer its reach to older readers who enjoy stories of alternate realities on the line of A Wrinkle in Time, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451. A recommend for teens and above.
CG FEWSTON is an American novelist who is a member of AWP, a member of Americans for the Arts, and a professional member and advocate of the PEN American Center, advocating for the freedom of expression around the world.
CG FEWSTON has travelled across continents and visited such places as Mexico, the island of Guam, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Taipei and Beitou in Taiwan, Bali in Indonesia, and Guilin and Shenzhen and Beijing in China. He also enjoys studying and learning French, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Mandarin.
CG FEWSTON earned an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership and Administration (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors) from Stony Brook University, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Fiction from Southern New Hampshire University, where he had the chance to work with wonderful and talented novelists like Richard Adams Carey (author of In the Evil Day, October 2015; and, The Philosopher Fish, 2006) and Jessica Anthony (author of Chopsticks, 2012; and, The Convalescent, 2010) as well as New York Times Best-Selling novelists Matt Bondurant (author of The Night Swimmer, 2012; and, The Wettest County in the World, 2009, made famous in the movie Lawless, 2012) and Wiley Cash (author of A Land More Kind Than Home, 2013; and, This Dark Road to Mercy, 2014).
Among many others, CG FEWSTON’S stories, photographs and essays have appeared in Sediments Literary–Arts Journal, Bohemia, Ginosko Literary Journal, GNU Journal (“Hills Like Giant Elephants”), Tendril Literary Magazine, Prachya Review (“The One Who Had It All”), Driftwood Press, The Missing Slate Literary Magazine (“Darwin Mother”), Gravel Literary Journal, Foliate Oak Magazine, The Writer’s Drawer, Moonlit Road, Nature Writing, and Travelmag: The Independent Spirit; and for several years he was a contributor to Vietnam’s national premier English newspaper, Tuoi Tre, “The Youth Newspaper.”
You can read more about CG FEWSTON and his writing at
A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN won GOLD for Literary Classics’ 2015 best book in the category under ”Special Interest” for “Gender Specific – Female Audience”…
Finalist in the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Romantic Fiction…
Finalist in the 2015 Mystery & Mayhem Novel Writing Contest…
Praise for A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN:
“Fewston delivers an atmospheric and evocative thriller in which an American government secret agent must navigate fluid allegiances and murky principles in 1970s Tehran… A cerebral, fast-paced thriller.”
“A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN is a thrilling adventure which takes place in pre-revolutionary Tehran. Author CG FEWSTON provides a unique glimpse into this important historical city and its rich culture during a pivotal time in its storied past. This book is so much more than a love story. Skillfully paired with a suspenseful tale of espionage, A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN is a riveting study of humanity. Replete with turns & twists and a powerful finish, FEWSTON has intimately woven a tale which creates vivid pictures of the people and places in this extraordinary novel.”
CG FEWSTON‘s new novel,
A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN, was published on April 2, 2015 —
10 years to the day of the publication
of his first novella, A FATHER’S SON (April 2, 2005)
“Thus one skilled at giving rise to the extraordinary
is as boundless as Heaven and Earth,
as inexhaustible as the Yellow River and the ocean.
Ending and beginning again,
like the sun and moon. Dying and then being born,
like the four seasons.”
found in Sources of Chinese Tradition, p 5