Kinsman Falls painting by DJ Geribo

A parable of sorts, Messenger by Lois Lowry tells the story of a Village where people live a productive and happy life. But when they start going to Trade Mart to trade either something they own or something inside them, such as kindness or tolerance, everything starts to change. Matty came from a hard life to the Village and now lives with a blind man. He thinks he is missing something and is curious about Trade Mart. He begins to notice how people are changing and are not as kind and helpful as they once were. Over time they become ill and decide they need to ‘build a wall’ to prevent others from entering the Village, believing that they won’t have enough resources to feed everyone.

The blind man, Seer, wants his daughter to join him in the Village, particularly if the wall goes up which will close it to others forever. Matty who has always been able to move through Forest without harm, says he will go for her. But Forest has changed and on their way back to Village they are scarred and injured by the trees and vines along the way. Near death, the one they call Leader meets them and tells Matty his true name, Healer. It is at this point that Matty realizes his power and that Forest really is just ‘an illusion…a tangled knot of fears and deceits and dark struggles for power that had disguised itself and destroyed almost everything’. He is then able to heal himself and Kira, along with the entire Village, and everything once again becomes as it was.

I give "Messenger" 4 out of 5 stars.

"Kinsman Falls" painting by DJ Geribo