The Messenger

The Messenger version I have with helpful study notes

The Messenger version I have with helpful study notes

One of the novels I read over the summer holiday was Markus Zusak’s The Messenger (published in some countries as I am the Messenger).
It is the second time I have read it… it is among my favourite novels and is an easy read.
It has some quirky characters in the fine Zusak tradition.  He always has young adults as his main characters in his novels and is unhelpfully relegated to the category of young adult fiction when there is always much to satisfy the older adult as well!
The novel (and the novelist!) poke around the life of a young going-nowhere-after-the-death-of-his-alcoholic-father man, Ed Kennedy, over a period of months.  He received four aces in his letterbox and cryptic tasks that he is invited/forced to attend to.  Some are harrowing, some are violent, but all are redemptive, not only for Ed, but also for the company he keeps and engages with through the mysterious tasks set for him.
Ed is loveable… his friends are interesting and disturbing and shaped, like he is, by a series of life-events that are gradually exposed as Ed watches, listens, and intervenes.
There is some significant intervention!
The intervention and redemption theme is of particular interest to me as a Minister of the Gospel, as is the heart-warming interaction with the overwhelmed yet very human priest.  There are hints of  ‘kingdom of God’ (as I know it) in the interventions that are at times hugely inspiring.  There is also a great deal of hope waiting to be discovered in Zusak’s portrayal of what is possible for meaningful life in community.
I love this book.

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