Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Published: (originally in 2006 by Penguin Australia), this paperback edition March 9, 2010 by HarperTeen
Source: purchased from the bookstore
In this lyrical, absorbing, award-winning novel, nothing is as it seems, and every clue leads to more questions.This is a book that's been sitting on my shelf for almost three years. Not kidding. I bought it awhile ago, not having a clue who this author was, or even knowing anything about the story, and thought I'd give it a try. I made it maybe a few chapters and felt completely lost and gave up. Who is this lady? And who told her she could write? I thought it was totally confusing and I should not waste another minute attempting to decipher it. Back on the shelf it went.
At age eleven, Taylor Markham was abandoned by her mother. At fourteen, she ran away from boarding school, only to be tracked down and brought back by a mysterious stranger. Now seventeen, Taylor's the reluctant leader of her school's underground community, whose annual territory war with the Townies and visiting Cadets has just begun. This year, though, the Cadets are led by Jonah Griggs, and Taylor can't avoid his intense gaze for long. To make matters worse, Hannah, the one adult Taylor trusts, has disappeared. But if Taylor can piece together the clues Hannah left behind, the truth she uncovers might not just settle her past, but also change her future. [goodreads]
Fast forward a year and I decide to give this author another try with Saving Francesca and then with The Piper's Son. Woah. Now I was completely aware of who she was, and immensely blown away by her writing. Everyone kept telling me I needed to read Jellicoe Road, that it's amazing. But I was also warned it's a book that takes awhile to push through. You have to give it time to marinate into your bones, simmer awhile inside your soul, but keep pushing through. I kept adding this book to my bookish resolutions, TWICE, to read it that year. But this fear kept creeping inside me, pushing it further back on the shelf.
Well, folks. It's finally happened. I feel like I've just conquered a huge reading milestone in my life.
I've read Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.
And what a beautiful, majestic, breathtakingly heart ache of a story it is.
So what's the story about, you may be asking. I know I questioned this myself before I read the book, and never got a true answer. Something about a group of kids, on the Jellicoe Road, a tree, and a Jonah Griggs. But WHAT IS IT ABOUT?? I honestly don't think I can give the answers to that either. It's a book you have to experience for yourself, and quite possibly go into it blindfolded. Just know that it's a story so rich and pure with a plot that twists and turns, cultivating into the most beautiful ending your literary heart may ever experience.
Shut out your fears, jump off that fence, and read this book right now. There is never going to be the "right time". NOW is the right time. Trust me when I say this, you're missing out on something extraordinary without knowing the beauty of this story. Melina Marchetta already chiseled out a place inside my heart with the previous two novels I read by her, but now she's solidified a spot in my top honors of writers who can never be topped, no matter what.
I am so happy to have finally found my place among these Jellicoe Fans. Better late than never, right?
Because this story is littered with so many beautiful words, I decided to make some art of my own, using photos I've taken to go along with Melina Marchetta's beautiful quotes.