The Knife of Never Letting Go
Patrick Ness
Contributed by Carey Speaks
Chapter 17

Matthew, the son of the former Mayor in Prentisstown who fled the town and currently lives in Farbranch, tells Hildy that Farbranch law does not allow men from Prentisstown into the settlement. In response, Hildy reminds Matthew that he himself came from Prentisstown. When Matthew points towards Viola, Todd moves between them and threatens him with his knife. Todd and Viola are shocked when Matthew begins crying. When Hildy explains that they trade the orchard fruit with different foods from the other settlements, Todd realizes that there are more settlements out here. Even though Hildy reassures Francia, her sister, she is not pleased to meet them and informs them that an army of men is following them.


“I see me a Prentisstown man with Prentisstown filth all over his Prentisstown Noise.” Matthew implies that Todd’s Noise, unlike that of Farbranch people, is filled with darkness and negative energy. Although Todd is not technically yet a man, his Noise has the same characteristics as that of Prentisstown men and makes him stand out. Matthew cries are based on what he remembers of Prentisstown, the war and its effects, and the grief that he had to endure. This chapter sheds light on the history between Prentisstown and other settlements.

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