Friday, 5 August 2011

Review: The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta

The Piper's Son
Melina Marchetta
Candlewick Press
Publication date: 1st March 2010
My rating: 5 out of 5

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.
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

After devouring Saving Francesca I couldn't wait to start The Piper's Son as Tom moves from my favourite supporting character to centre stage and my all out favourite character with his pregnant 40 something Aunt Georgie in a sequel of sorts set four years after Saving Francesca.

It's an amazingly poignant character driven story full to the brim with heart wrenching emotional moments. It's a beautifully written story about family, grief, forgiveness and rebuilding broken relationships.

Tom is such a strong and complicated character who has hit rock bottom after the death of his Uncle and estrangement from his alcoholic Dad. He slowly begins to turn around his life with the help and support of his family especially his pregnant Aunt who I loved and his old friends including Francesca. Despite his previous pretty bad behaviour the tight little group of friends patiently wait for him to get back in touch and desperately want to help him. I loved how the girls just seem to call him on his crap and know him inside and out. His attempts to reconnect with Tara (who he had a one and a half night stand with but still loves) by email had me in stitches laughing, his ability to bluntly say the wrong thing provided the funniest moments and then other things he said especially to Tara just made me melt. I think Tom is definite book boyfriend material.

I loved The Piper's Son so much I'm now torn between wanting to read it all over again just to savour it a bit more or dive into Jellicoe Road which I've been assured is equally amazing. What a dilemma.

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