Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community.
"Wrought with admirable skill -- the emptiness and menace underlying this Utopia emerge step by inexorable step: a richly provocative novel." Kirkus Reviews with Pointers
"In a departure from her well-known and favorably regarded realistic works, Lowry has written a fascinating, thoughtful science-fiction novel. The story takes place in a nameless, utopian community, at an unidentified future time. Although life seems perfect -- there is no hunger, no disease, no pollution, no fear -- the reader becomes uneasily aware that all is not well. The story is skillfully written; the air of disquiet is delicately insinuated; and the theme of balancing the values of freedom and security is beautifully presented." Horn Book Guide