Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta

The Piper's Son 
by Melina Marchetta

Summary: Thomas Mackee wants oblivion. Wants to forget parents who leave and friends he used to care about and a string of one-night stands, and favourite uncles being blown to smithereens on their way to work on the other side of the world.

But when his flatmates turn him out of the house, Tom moves in with his single, pregnant aunt, Georgie. And starts working at the Union pub with his former friends. And winds up living with his grieving father again. And remembers how he abandoned Tara Finke two years ago, after his uncle's death.

And in a year when everything's broken, Tom realises that his family and friends need him to help put the pieces back together as much as he needs them.

Melina Marchetta's brilliant, heart-wrenching new novel takes up the story of the group of friends from her best-selling, much-loved book Saving Francesca - only this time it's five years later and Thomas Mackee is the one who needs saving.
Dear Melina Marchetta,


Melina Marchetta is one of my all time favourite authors. You'll be aware of that if you've been reading this blog for a while -- I mention her a lot, and her books are among the books that I compare others too...if a book can make me feel half as much as one of her books can, then I will love it.

This book reminded me why that is. It reminded me why she is one of my favourite authors and why I put her and her book, Jellicoe Road (my favourite of hers), up on a pedestal where I worship it for being one of the best books I've ever read and wish I had even a fraction of the talent she has when it comes to writing books.

The Piper's Son is amazing. It didn't knock Jellicoe Road off of the top spot for my favourite book of hers, but it is a very close second (and JR now has some company up on the metaphorical pedestal that I've put it on).

Her books are like complex jigsaw puzzles. Confusing at first; the characters are beautifully broken and as you read, it's like piece by piece, we get to see them be put back together and by the end, the initial confusion is worth the beauty of the bigger picture. Her endings are perfect, they're not forced or flawless, they're just...hopeful and raw and real, the cracks are still there but the characters have all come together in a way that leaves them a little less broken than they were in the beginning.

Melina's writing is one of my favourite things about her books. She doesn't just create these amazing complex characters (and really, these characters were brilliant, I loved them all so much) and plots and relationships between the characters, she writes beautifully too. I was using a piece of paper as a bookmark while I read the book, and every time I came across a quote I loved, I would tear a bit off of the paper and leave it to mark the the time I was finished the book, the paper I was using as a bookmark was tiny and there were little scraps of it scattered all through the book. I posted some of my favourite ones on tumblr, like these ones:

"Maybe she’d always been there. Maybe strangers enter your heart first and then you spent the rest of your life searching for them."

"The grief hits her hard one day. The way it can’t be controlled. The way that yesterday can be good and so can the day before, and so can the week and fortnight before that, but then today comes and she’s back to zero. How she can’t type words into her computer or even press the inbox for her mail. The effort it takes to walk. How words can’t form in her mouth and how her blood feels paralyzed."

"He does that a lot. Speaks quietly. It’s almost as if he believes that if he raises his voice, she’ll notice that he’s around and then she’ll remember the past and tell him to get lost. So these days, he speaks quietly."

This book a companion novel to Saving Francesca - I remember really liking that book, some quotes from it have stuck with me, but it was so long ago that I read it, that I had pretty much forgotten what happened in the book and details about all the characters, aside from the basic plot. Even though I forgot so much about Saving Francesca, it didn't take anything away from this book, so I think maybe it could be read as a standalone without reading SF.

It's hard to review this book. It's been more general fangirling of Melina Marchetta than getting specific about The Piper's Son...but no matter what I write, it wouldn't do my feelings on the book justice, so I'll leave it at that. The book was amazing, I will read anything this woman writes - seriously, if she had written Breaking Dawn, she probably has enough talent to turn even that into a literary masterpiece instead of just...a disasterpiece. O.o



  1. I seriously need to watch How I Met Your Mother.

    *cough* Anyway, I didn't realize this was the same author as Jelicoe Road! Omg! Definitely picking this one up. Glad to hear you loved it! :)

  2. Own,Looks great!
    So, girls, I'm from Brazil! Yes, so far! =)
    I Loved your Blog! Really! the reviews, Layout...

    I have a Blog too,You are welcome to visit okay!?


  3. I have heard about this book four times in the last 2 days! I'm thinking this is a sign that I should read it! I loved Jelicoe Road too! :)



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