Monday, December 10, 2012

December Book Discussion! The Messenger by Siri Mitchell!


The book selected was The Messenger by Siri Mitchell!


About the book:

Hannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith...until her twin brother joined the Colonial cause and ended up in jail. She longs to bring some measure of comfort to him in the squalid prison, but her faith forbids it. The Friends believe that they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. She is not allowed to visit him, even if she were able to secure a pass.


Jeremiah Jones, a Colonial spy, needs access to the jail to help rescue men important to the cause. Upon meeting Hannah, a plan begins to develop. Who would suspect a pious Quaker visiting a loved one?


But Jeremiah is unprepared for Hannah, for her determination to do right, to not lie. How can one be a spy and not lie? Hannah, in turn, is surprised by Jeremiah...for the way he forces her to confront her own beliefs, for the sensitivity and concern that he shows her despite the wounds he still carries.


In a time of war, can two unlikely heroes find the courage to act?

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WARNING: if you haven't read the book yet, there will be spoilers below.




Discussion questions:

1. For starters, did you like The Messenger? Did it meet your expectations?
2. Do you have a favorite character (or characters) from the book?
3. Did you find anything in the book surprising?
4. Was there anything about the book that you didn't like?
5. What did you think about Hannah and the fact that she wouldn't lie - even when it meant she might get caught/killed?
6. What did you think about how Jeremiah was able to get John to do the things he wanted (like move Hannah's brother to a different cell, report Captain Cunningham for selling the prisoners' food, etc.)?

My answers:

1. For starters, did you like The Messenger? Did it meet your expectations?

I loved it! The book exceeded my expectations and I look forward to reading more of Siri's books! :)

2. Do you have a favorite character (or characters) from the book?

Yes, Jeremiah and Hannah. I really liked both of them - although Jeremiah a little more. :)

3. Did you find anything in the book surprising?

I was a little surprised that Hannah left the Quaker faith and that she didn't tell Jeremiah her brother had died.

4. Was there anything about the book that you didn't like?

Well, I didn't like the ending. In fact, I was shocked when I read the last page because I had thought there were still a few more pages left. It seemed to end way too soon and I would have at least liked an epilogue... maybe there will be a sequel. ;)

5. What did you think about Hannah and the fact that she wouldn't lie? Even when it meant she might get caught/killed?

To be honest, I got a little frustrated with her. I really liked how she didn't want to lie and strove for truth, but (for instance) on page 72 when Jeremiah said "I'm not asking you to lie. I'm simply asking you not to reveal everything you know. To pretend you're not doing anything wrong." and she said "To pretend is to lie to oneself." Well, that just sorta frustrated me because if she would have said everything she knew (even without being asked), she'd have put the lives of so many in danger. 

6. What did you think about how Jeremiah was able to get John to do the things he wanted (like move Hannah's brother to a different cell, report Captain Cunningham for selling the prisoners' food, etc.)?

I loved how Jeremiah got John to unknowingly help the prisoners escape! I couldn't help smiling during some of those scenes!!
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So there you have it. Those are just a few starter questions - feel free to post your answers to any/all of them  by leaving a comment(s) below. Additional thoughts and/or questions of your own are more than welcome. Looking forward to discussing The Messenger with you! :)

4 comments:

  1. I just finished reading The Messenger last week and LOVED it. I was completely surprised that Robert died.
    I want a sequel! It did end WAY too soon!!

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    1. Glad you loved it too and that I'm not alone in thinking it ended too soon. :)

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  2. Late to the party! Whew, just found a few minutes to sit down and join in:

    1. For starters, did you like The Messenger? Did it meet your expectations?

    I really enjoyed The Messenger and had no expectations going into the story. I don't think I had even read the synopsis so had no idea what it was about.

    2. Do you have a favorite character (or characters) from the book?

    I liked Jeremiah but at first didn't get the impression that he was young enough for Hannah. For some reason I assumed he was an older man.


    3. Did you find anything in the book surprising?

    That the author killed off Hannah's brother was a surprise. And more interesting than surprising was the information about the Quaker faith.

    4. Was there anything about the book that you didn't like?

    I too thought the ending was a bit abrupt, but would I have wanted it to continue on? I don't think so. Maybe an Epilogue would have been good and wrapped it up a little more nicely.

    5. What did you think about Hannah and the fact that she wouldn't lie - even when it meant she might get caught/killed?

    That's one of the things about the Quaker aspect of the book that irritated me. While yes, we all agree that lying is not good(sin) she still risked putting others in danger. And it seemed like just another rule to follow in a long list of rules to live by to keep her fellow Quakers from gossiping about her.

    6. What did you think about how Jeremiah was able to get John to do the things he wanted (like move Hannah's brother to a different cell, report Captain Cunningham for selling the prisoners' food, etc.)?

    I thought it was pretty clever of him to use John's vanity and pride and desire to climb the ranks to get him to perform tasks to help them out.

    Since it has been years since I studied the Revolution I can honestly say I know little to nothing about it so I found this book entertaining as well as a bit educational. And it always amazes me how cruel people can be to their fellow humans...sad.

    Julie@My Favorite Pastime

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    Replies
    1. Great answers, Julie! We have a lot of the same thoughts about The Messenger. :) The information about the Quaker faith was very interesting and I had assumed Jeremiah was older, too. :)

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