The Piper\’s Son, Melina Marchetta

| 14 March , 2010 | 1 Reply

Tina Gamble

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.

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.

“Worse still, he doesn\’t know how to follow the piper anymore because it\’s a path Tom has lost faith in. And the piper knows it. Tom can see it in his father\’s eyes now& the piper didn\’t know who to be anymore&”

Let me just start by saying – Melina Marchetta is a god of the written word. Having read all Marchetta\’s prior novels, including Saving Francesca – which is where the character Thomas Mackee originated from – it is safe to say that The Piper\’s Son goes far and beyond the high expectations of her other novels.

The old characters you love are back. For fans of Saving Francesca you will love this novel, and for everyone else, if you haven\’t already dipped into the world of Marchetta\’s writing, I would definitely recommend this novel. Though many of the characters originate from Saving Francesca, this novel is a stand-alone that doesn\’t require any back-story.

The thing I always love the most about Marchetta\’s novels is the depth she adds to her characters and to the storylines – nothing is ever what it seems – nor is it black and white. Throughout the story you will see a development and growth of all the characters that flow in and out of Thomas\’s life.

The family is dealing with loss and grief, and Thomas is walking precariously close to the ledge, while his friends are trying not to give up on him. Through the consistent ups and downs, the strong flow of the writing, and honesty portrayed in the novel, it is so easy to fall into the setting and get caught up in Thomas\’s world.

Whether it\’s young adult fiction or fantasy, Marchetta never disappoints. The Piper\’s Son is a great addition to anyone\’s bookshelf – a novel to be treasured and read – over and over again. One main thing this novel shows is that no one writes human emotion better than Melina Marchetta.

“He said he\’d kill me if I asked you anything more now. But I need to know, Georgie.”

“Even if it\’ll break your heart?”

Available now: Penguin RRP$24.99 … interview with Melina coming.


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  1. Alexa says:

    Great review. I agree Melina Marchetta’s characters are amazingly real!

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