If The Book Thief
is truly better than this book, then I should be racing out tonight to buy it, as I Am the Messenger
is a new favorite. I have barely closed the book and I already want to start over again at the beginning, only this time taking it slower, savoring the words and allowing each message to fully sink in. I started this novel this morning, choosing it as it was the January selection for my face to face book club. I never imagined that I would blow through it in an afternoon, literally unable to put it down. I neglected all I had to do today, though thankfully not my children, so that I could continue to read this superb novel. My husband may not think it was the right decision, but there is no doubt in my mind that it was.
Ed is an ordinary young man living on the wrong side of the tracks working a dead end job and playing cards with his slacker friends. His father recently died from alcoholism, all his siblings have left for the city, and his mother hates him. All he has is his faithful dog, The Doorman. For one brief moment, he stands up and does something, foiling an inept bank robber and becomes a local hero.
He soon begins to receive strange messages, written on the faces of playing cards. Unable to shake them off, he follows them where they lead and changes not only his life, but that of 12 other people. Some of these messages are simple, Christmas lights, running shoes, and ice cream cones. Others are painful and violent, teaching loyalty to two violent brothers and saving a woman and her daughter from a life of fear and terror. Each of these messages changes Ed imperceptibly, teaching more about himself then he ever could have imagined.