Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta

Published: March 1, 2010 by Penguin Australia
Received: bought ebook from Barnes & Noble
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. {taken from}
You know when you finish reading a book and you're on such a high from the words that just poured in to your head that you don't know what to do next??  That is how I feel after reading The Piper's Son.  I am in complete and utter awe.  I know I keep saying that no book has ever effected me the way this one did.  Well, this one effected me in such a powerful way that it's extremely difficult to put in to words my thoughts about it.  Melina Marchetta has a way with words.  She doesn't present her books as "issues" - she simply tells a story that's packed full of raw emotional characters.  They come across as real as you and I, becoming so believable that you almost feel like you know them.  I love when an author writes like that.  Their world becomes your own and you don't quite know what to do when that story ends.

The Piper's Son is a companion novel to Saving Francesca, Melina Marchetta's previous novel.  This story is centered around Thomas Mackee and his life 5 years down the road.  The same group of friends are circulated through out the story, but we get a chance to see what their lives have become since they all went to St. Sebastians private school together.  Thomas Mackee always came across as the "bully" of the group, the one who had it all together, but if you looked close enough - just beyond the surface - you saw cracks that revealed his world was slowly falling a part.  He's gone off the deep end in the wake of his uncle's death, and in turn so has his family.  Just when things couldn't get any worse Thomas realizes that it's up to him to save his family and bring them back together.  It's not a simple task, though.  On top of his family drama, he is also battling with his regrets on how he treated Tara Finke, the one person who challenged him, yet loved him for who he really was.

The story is told in alternating voices between Thomas and his Aunt Georgie, for whom he goes to live with during the process of getting his life back on track.  Georgie's story is just as heart breaking.  She is trying to cope with the loss of her brother, the infidelity of her one true love Sam, and about to embark on becoming a mother for the first time.  She finds comfort in Thomas being around, and together the two of them lean on each other for support to get them through the roughest moments of their lives.  It's the relationships in this book that carried it to unbelievable heights.  I was blown away at how real each character came across.  There was no sugar coating.  It was raw and in your face, tell it like it is.  Melina Marchetta wrote these characters as if they were living, breathing souls living next door.  Their pain becomes your own pain; their joys becoming your smiles.

I took my time while reading this book, not because I was loosing interest, but because I did not want it to end.  I was frightened for Thomas and where his life was headed, yet I saw so much potential in this young boy that I wasn't quite ready to give up on him just yet.  I knew he had great things ahead of him, but it was going to take a huge slap in the face before he saw them.  I love when a book pulls you in and leaves you breathless.  The Piper's Son is beyond amazing.  Melina Marchetta is in a class all her own.  This story needs to be read by all.  I think I'll be giving it a second chance pretty soon - then perhaps a third, fourth, and so on...



  1. Lovely review. I adored this one, too. I agree - she doesn't present her story as an "issue" story; it's more like the words just flow into something that makes sense.

  2. Great review! I'll have to read Saving Francesca as well as The Piper's Son!

    Somer @ A Bird's Eye Review

  3. Lovely- I've not read anything by that author before- adding to my to-read list- do you need to read Saving Francesca first?

  4. Absolutely agree! 'Jellicoe Road' is still my favourite by her, but this is definitely 2nd. I liked it even more than 'Francesca'. I love how she wrote characters that are flawed and even act completely idiotically sometimes, but you still care for them. They definitely do feel like real people, which is amazing.

  5. Looking for these kind of hard life, hard decision books for my students. A lot of them deal with drugs or a parent in jail and the nice little romance just doesn't ring true for them. Thanks for the review.

  6. Agreed Ginger! Such a phenomenal book! Love you review!

  7. i promise i will read these soon. and then we shall geek out over them. great review!

  8. Very raw! I loved the Aunt Ginger POV, made it very unique to me! :) Great review!

  9. an now i really really really need it! great review my dear :)


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