Messenger by Lois Lowry

After reading Gathering Blue, I immediately moved on to Messenger. This book is also a companion novel to The Giver.

Here’s the summary from the back cover of the book:

For the past six years, Matty has lived in Village and flourished under the guidance of Seer, a blind man known for his special sight. Village was once a place that welcomed newcomers, but something sinister has seeped into Village and the people have voted to close it to outsiders. Matty has been invaluable as a messenger. Now he must make one last journey through the treacherous Forest with his only weapon, a power he unexpectedly discovers within himself.

It’s nice to know the other side of the Village – somewhere beyond the Forest – that’s different from where Kira lives. It’s ruled by the Leader, a place where the neglected and pained ones gather and form their own community. In spite of the physical flaws and imperfections some acquire, they are still valued and treated equally, unlike in their previous home.

This book now centers on Matty, or Matt from Gathering Blue, playing a more significant role in the story. From being a mischievous child in the previous book, he changes into someone more tamed, educated, and mature. In other words, he becomes a better person. The title mainly has a lot to do with him, but as readers further read through the story, Matty has a lot more to offer and possesses a unique gift. I like how fate has brought Jonas, Kira, and Matty together and connected their lives. It’s fun to come across characters from the previous books. Kira’s father also appears and has an important role in Matty’s life, too.

In addition to this, we are also introduced to the true nature of the Forest. It seems to be alive, moving on its own to give Warnings to those who cross the path and sometimes, harms them. As the story progresses, we have seen how it changes, from being fresh, bright, and alive, it has turned darker, more dangerous, and wicked.

At first, I was kind of disappointed when Jonas and Gabe did not appear in Gathering Blue. However, in this book, as I have said mentioned earlier, they appeared! Jonas, surprisingly, is the Leader. I thought that the setting happens years after Jonas’ time, but it isn’t. Reading this enlightens my knowledge more, that the community where Jonas and Gabe lived exists at the same time as with Kira and Matty’s village. They just happen to be in two separate places, born in different times. On the other hand, it cannot be overlooked that the communities where they originated exhibit some similarities between one another which resulted to their escape and their search for a better one. One thing’s for certain, though – not everything is perfect no matter where one goes and tries to build.

The story brings readers to see the whole situation in a different light. All three books combined bring about a new and better understanding about the complex reality of life in a society. We aim for perfection, yet there will always be a time when a single act will destroy everything. It’s like slowly building a house made of cards where one slight mistake or movement will ruin the whole structure. And more often than not, sacrifice has to be made in order to change everything to the way it’s supposed to be.

Deprivation of something will be inevitable, but complete transparency and freedom is not the answer, too. The Forest’s condition, evidently, reflects and symbolizes the deepest desires of people. It changes throughout the course of time, and more often than not, due to this fact, certain measures must be made to regulate it.

All three books can serve as stand-alone novels, but Messenger is more of a sequel to Gathering Blue, so if one decides to read the three books, it’s more encouraged to read them in chronological order to better understand the story.

Despite the bittersweet ending, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It’s full of suspense as I turn page after page, that’s why I was able to finish the book in two days. The depth of the story certainly gives me a wider perspective about life and pushes me further to reflect upon it.





About Rhin

Expression through words. Finding contentment in the simple things in life. Embracing opportunities. Daring to live her dream. View all posts by Rhin

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