Messenger | Lois Lowry
Matty lives peacefully in the Village with his foster father, Seer. Although Seer is blind, he is respected and welcomed by the people of Village, something Matty found strange when he first came to live with Seer. He comes from a different life, a harder life, where people with weaknesses are left to die. Matty has now found a place and a purpose in Village delivering messages from Village through Forest to other villages and towns, including his old home. But things are changing in Village and Matty is no longer sure of anything. People are changing, Forest is thickening, and Matty has discovered a new change in himself that frightens him. As Village get to the brink of closing her borders to outsiders, Matty must make one final journey as a messenger through Forest.
A boy’s crush on a girl. Violence. Main character death.
Of the four books in The Giver Quartet this book is my least favorite. It’s not bad but it pales in comparison to The Giver or Gathering Blue. That being said, I think that Messenger should be read along with the others. The entire impact of the quartet would be lost without this story. Matt, from Gathering Blue, is now Matty and this book is his story. This is my second read and I found Matty’s story interesting but not compelling, almsot as if Ms. Lowry was trying to hard with Matty’s story.
I did enjoy the development of Matty as a responsible and maturing young man, faced with the tough decisions we all must make as we leave childhood in the foyer of adulthood. Often these decisions cost us more than we bargained for, and I think this aspect is the strongest and most convincing theme of Messenger. We cannot know who we are going to be, but every choice we make, however small, propels us into the shape of that future. Another powerful theme in this book that I especially appreciated was the impact, not only of the individual choices on themselves, but also of the impact those choices have on everyone around us. In The Giver Quartet, Ms. Lowry captures several pillars of community life, of what it truly means to live together as human beings. They are truths that hold us up as humanity.