In happier news, I’m reading a different YA series that is well-plotted, well-characterized, and somehow…gentler…on the human spirit. I’d always heard of The Giver but never really knew about the sequence of novels that came later. I’m really glad to be reading them. Let’s talk about Messenger.
Lowry weaves together plots from The Giver and Gathering Blue with the story of Matty, now a teenager and living in Village, a haven for broken/destitute/discarded people of outlying villages. Protected by Leader and mentored by Seer, a blind man, Matty explores the forbidding Forest to communicate messages between villages. But a shadow begins to spread across Village and an ugly change threatens to disrupt the peace and happiness. Can Matty bring back Seer’s daughter to live in Village before it’s too late?
This is a lovely story, a simple one, and also a heartbreaking one. I don’t want to say more, because you really need to experience it for yourself. Lowry has woven threads of all her stories together, and I’m really excited to see where she goes with Son, the last of the quartet. For those who say you don’t need to read Gathering Blue to enjoy this, I disagree. You do. There are parts of Messenger that make more sense when you know who everyone involved is, and why their place in this world matters. This is a lovely, poignant book about selfishness, selflessness, and finding your identity as a young adult. Seriously, Lowry needs to write ALL the books. I would read them all.