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Jonas lives in a closed community where he is safe and secure. His sister and parents know there are other places, Elsewhere, but are content with their lives. At the age of 12, all children in this community are given their Assignments, to train for their future work. Jonas is looking forward to this with some trepidation. He can see that his friends have a path which will result in their assignment being given them which suits them, but he is at a loss. He has no such path, he does not have one over riding interest. When he is chosen as the Receiver of Memory, he feels inadequate.
But to receive the community’s memories is painful. He must learn all the things that they have no memory of, the pain of loss, loneliness, fear, war as well as love and tenderness, sunshine and cold. For his community has no idea of these things. It has been built on Sameness. Older people and babies who do not fit, are Released, and when Jonas finds out what this entails, he must take action. What he does with the memories he receives is riveting.
Review by Fran Knight http://www.readplus.co.uk/blog_detail.php?id=755