|The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta|
March 8, 2011
Source: Personal Purchase
The award-winning author of Finnikin of the Rock and Jellicoe Road pens a raw, compelling novel about a family’s hard-won healing on the other side of trauma.My Review:
Award-winning author Melina Marchetta reopens the story of the group of friends from her acclaimed novel Saving Francesca - but five years have passed, and now it’s Thomas Mackee who needs saving. After his favorite uncle was blown to bits on his way to work in a foreign city, Tom watched his family implode. He quit school and turned his back on his music and everyone that mattered, including the girl he can’t forget. Shooting for oblivion, he’s hit rock bottom, forced to live with his single, pregnant aunt, work at the Union pub with his former friends, and reckon with his grieving, alcoholic father. Tom’s in no shape to mend what’s broken. But what if no one else is either? An unflinching look at family, forgiveness, and the fierce inner workings of love and friendship, The Piper’s Son redefines what it means to go home again.
I was very excited to read this book after loving Saving Francesca (SF) and being very interested in the hidden depths of Thomas Mackee. I loved the glimpses we got of Tom in SF and The Piper's Son took him was beyond what I expected of him. I just wanted to give him a big hug. I was surprised by the amount of stuff going on in this book, the levels of pain and heartache surrounding this family. Thomas' world and the world of his family was rocked with the death of his uncle.
I didn't know when I started the book that we'd have alternating views of Tom and his Aunt Georgie (though not first person dialogue) - but it made a lot of sense to the continuity of the book and really helped round out all that was going on. Both of them are going through their own personal struggles and coping mechanisms, as well as dealing with family things together. The addition of Georgie's perspective takes this book beyond the YA we started with in SF, and to a greater depth that Melina is so good at writing. But I think the alternating perspectives are key and I can't imagine seeing the story in any other light than with both Tom and Georgie.
I loved this broken family and was cheering for them the entire time. I also loved seeing the girls and guys from SF return, along with their loyalties to Tom and to their friendship, even when it was hard. This novel is full of heartache, sorrow, regret, turmoil, mistakes, unforeseen accidents, but also love, understanding, loyalty, redemption, forgiveness, and hope. It was a touching, beautifully written journey. This is yet another book demonstrating why I love Melina Marchetta's writing. If you have not read anything by Melina Marchetta yet, you are missing out.
*Now we need a story about Jimmy, please*