Wednesday, March 21, 2012

messenger

Lowry, L. (2004). messenger. New York: Delacorte Press.

Messenger
Described on the cover as a companion to The Giver and Gathering Blue, I did not notice the connection at all until nearly the end of the book - it's been too long since I read the first two, I guess. Messenger can stand alone as a work of modern fantasy. Sometimes it is 'out there' but still has much in the plot that is too close to today's world - love, evil, competition, hate. Lois Lowry again makes the unbelievable believable.

The protagonist, Matty, is a round character, who grows and develops through his young teen year to understand the evils of trading, and to learn how to help do something about it. Lowry uses just enough dialog to keep things interesting, although the narrative grips the reader as well. Figurative language, like the metaphor, "soft flutter of her fingers," and "he felt the years of grime slip from him," makes the narrative come to life, as well as the action words she uses throughout - tense, lingered, ached, staggered, strides...

The plot certainly contains conflict - both man against nature (the Forest), man against man (the ones who wanted to close the village), and person-against-self (Matty's wants that battled with his needs).

A big question would be (in thinking about the forest) - How can something be both good and bad?

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