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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Review: THE PIPER'S SON by Melina Marchetta

Title: The Piper's Son
Author: Melina Marchetta
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: March 1, 2010
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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 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.

"But grieving people are selfish. They won't let you comfort them and they say you don't understand 
and they make you feel useless when all your life you've been functional to them"

I'd like to begin with a shout out to You Know Who You Are (x2) for continuously bringing the topic of Thomas Mackee on my Twitter timeline at the most random times. But, hey! I've finally made it to this moment and fully understand why Melina Marchetta is magical and awe-mazing. I've read three of her books now, and I have to say her storytelling/narrative is absolutely lovely. Each book has hit me straight in the feels! I will admit that I shed tears with this one. Strong family and friendship dynamics in a book is a weakness of mine. The Piper's Son had both elements in spades. Everyone pick up her books soon because I've fallen in a hole and would prefer for others to suffer with me but I only wish for the best for these characters. No more pain please, only good things please. 

The Piper's Son is set five years after Saving Francesca featuring the return of many characters from the latter novel. This time our star is Tom Mackee. This book is considered a standalone but luckily I was told to read Melina Marchetta's books in a certain order to really get the full family/friendship development. And I did. And I hurt inside. The highlight for this novel, for me, was Tom's aunt Georgie. She couldn't decide if she should be happy about the baby or not because of the circumstances around her pregnancy. Her grief and struggle of accepting the events that played out after her brother's death was a shot in my heart. Honestly, the entire household's grief stung me bad. I was wiping tears while waving my 'Georgie x Sam Forever' flag.

The emotions of all the Mackees/Finches were raw and very realistic. For a family whose members have always been very close to suddenly become estranged, it made me sad to read about the happier times in the flashbacks. The relationship that Tom and Georgie have was so heartwarming. I enjoyed how she could motherhen him at times but he would also look out for her when she needed it. I also loved how Dominic and Tom slowly starting speaking and reconnecting because of their mutual love and care for Georgie. She was like an important connection point and tried hard to keep ties in tact. The mending of Tom's relationship with his old friends also had me smiling. Not to mention the adorably dorky-sweet emails he kept sending to one specific friend.

Now that I've pretty much caught up in the contemporary Marchetta works, it's probably time for me to dive into her young adult fantasy series right?

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