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Thursday, March 05, 2015

Third Giver Book Full of Important Messages

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note:  While this review will not contain spoilers for Messenger by Lois Lowry, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from The Giver and Gathering Blue.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

Village used to be a peaceful place, a place that welcomed outcasts into its fold.  No more.  A strange wind is blowing through the once utopian town, bringing with it the stink of greed, envy, and suspicion.  When the decision is made to close Village to outsiders, Matty panics.  If no one is allowed in, the blind, old Seer will never get to visit with the beloved daughter with whom he's only recently been reunited.  Matty cannot allow the kind old man to have is heart broken again.  He must traverse the deadly Forest to bring Kira home to her father—before it's too late.

As if to prove just how different things have become, Forest has grown hostile even to Matty, who's always been able to move through it safely.  Without that special ability, he may not be able to make it through to Kira.  He cares too much for the Seer not to at least try.  Armed only with a peculiar gift that he's only beginning to understand, Matty must make a perilous journey in order to help his friend, and his community, heal.  Will he reach Kira in time?  Will he even make it out of Forest alive?  

Readers who felt frustrated with the open endings of the first two books in Lois Lowry's unsettling dystopian series will be happy to know that Messenger, the third volume, connects at least a few dots.  We finally learn what happened to Jonas and Gabe, as well as Seer and other characters from the previous books.  Really, though, this is Matty's story.  Brave and loyal, he's an easy hero for which to root.  Allegorical in nature (as are all of The Giver books), Messenger is a cautionary tale about what happens to people (and communities) when the evils of the world are allowed overcome their better natures.  As always, I can't help but find Biblical parallels in Lowry's stories—Matty could be seen as Adam leaving the Garden of Eden or even a type of Christ.  The best part about this series is probably the fact that Lowry leaves it all open to the reader's interpretation.  Regardless of which lessons you find for yourself in Messenger, it's a compelling read.  If you loved The Giver, you definitely don't want to miss it. 

(Readalikes:  The Giver, Gathering Blue, and Son by Lois Lowry)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for brief, mild language (no F-bombs), intense situations, and mild sexual innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of Messenger from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.

1 comment:

  1. I had never seen Biblical parallels in her works until you mentioned it! I can totally see it now. I love Matty and I was sad what happened to him in this story.


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