The Piper's Son

The Piper's SonSometimes I can t take the shit in my real life okay, my inner nothing to show for it life is mostly purgatorial neverending staircases too Some stupid shit that amuses me way too much as well and I pretty much have to run away for the cause of my fleeting hold of sanity gasp My savior are those beach trips with my books I ve been shoring up all my hopes for them I m so happy that we ve had beach weather again The Piper s Son is my second beach book of 2011 I know this is going to be one of my longing times because I kept taking hold of moments as they were happening something I do when anything good happens I m going to wish it was still this moment The first book, Saving Francesca, is THE young adult book that is relevant to my past, present and no use pretending future it doesn t matter that I m not a teenager Family doesn t end So my life has been too much again for Saving Francesca reasons I ll leave it at that, like family reasons are too much to explain to anyone not family The Piper s Sons reasons are my reasons too Crawl under a rock No books and lights under the duvet There s no damned light because it s too hard The mind trains are stuck I run away to the beach It s freedom to not know anyone around I can even do my awesome chair dance moves and not care who sees New me I love strangers I am not staring at the dead end horizons any I really needed this story about Tom who has the complicated family life that is impossibly hard He kills his good chances himself Tom and Francesca shit, I do relate to these two I am still running away But this book is that new space, like You can get through this running away I m just happy to get out of the stuckness If I could explain why I could believe Tom found his freedom from the old shit I m jealous too It feels like it could be seen from outer space If it could be Why Mariel loved The Piper s Son so damned much Those feelings of wanting to change the world From sitting in the sand I d write with a stick THIS BOOK IS AWESOME, MAJOR TOM Yeah, maybe If you ve ever felt so much inside that it SHOULD be seen from outer space, only it isn t The Piper s Son is seeing it Yeah, that s it Mind blind spots that are complicated family reasons of just you And you get it anyway Melina Marchetta must be a genius Outer spaces as inner spaces Live through this P.s I freaking loved it when Tom starts listening to Regina Spektor in secret My top Regina Spektor songs 1 Loveology 2 Prisoners 3 Daniel Cowman 4 Carbon Monoxide 5 The Genius Next Door 6 Folding Chair 7 Belt 8 Consequence of Sounds 9 Braille 10 Samson P.s.s I felt intensely about this story and these people than this review lets on It s hard to open up about how much I really get Tom and Francesca Sometimes this shit becomes the part of you that to you re just sick to death of telling yourself about Talking about it to people who don t have this inside them can be those punches Tom didn t pull to get rid of anyone who would help Or fear that it does They tell me I d rather be there, for them I m barely here for me sometimes. In an interview at Persnickety Snark, Melina Marchetta said that she wanted to capture, People holding it together and succeeding some days and failing other days in this novel Thank you No, seriously, thank you for summing up a book that is so hard to capture That comment made me think of a perfect quote You have to laugh at yourself because you d cry your eyes out if you didn t Sure, it s from an Indigo Girls song but it s still totally relevant right On those days you are failing, a sense of humor goes a long way The grief that the Mackee Finch family has been living with for the past year or two seems insurmountable How can life go on when life as you knew it is over For those unfamiliar with the story, this book follows up on several characters from Saving Francesca, though this book can stand alone Thomas Mackee and his close knit extended family have been grieving the loss of Tom s uncle Joe, who died in a bombing, for over a year Tom s mother and sister moved away, his alcoholic father checked out, his aunt is pregnant but believes that because her grief was the impetus for her ex to return, she shouldn t celebrate the pregnancy This might sound like a ton of family drama going on but honestly, every person has their problems Every family has their issues What this book really deals with is that belief that we all have that no one could ever understand how we are feeling, especially the suffering we go through when we lose another person who is such a huge slice of our world It s hard to go on living when someone who served as a point of reference is no longer there It feels so singular, like we are going alone And sometimes it feels like it s easier to live in oblivion.But it wasn t all sad I truly laughed as much as I wallowed in this one, and often out loud Tom s family and friends really make his turnaround No, they make each other s turnarounds At one point in the story, Francesca and Justine are trying to argue that Tom cried while watching Lord of the Rings The girls text Siobhan and Tara to ask what movie Tom cried during and Siobhan answers LOTR, but Tara answers, He cried when those two muppets climbed that mountain in New Zealand 167 I couldn t stop laughing at this because I have several jokes with my friends that run along this line how people describe movies, actors, etc but we know exactly what they mean when they say something ridiculous Sometimes all I want is to call, email or text one of my friends just to get back the other half of a joke it s the reassurance of a shared memory Family are the ultimate example and we all know that families never forget anything Hell, my sister is still pissed about me knocking over her dollhouse OVER TWENTY YEARS AGO Seriously Casey, get over it Anyway, I really loved the family and friendship dynamics in this one view spoiler One of my favorite moments was when Tom suggested to Siobhan that Frankie texted all their friends calling him a dickhead She replies that actually, Frankie texted them, I think we re getting our Tom back Even when they were beyond angry at him for his actions and she was outwardly being very hostile to him, she loved him They all loved him I almost lost it hide spoiler 5 Stars, because an honest and gentle plot is sadly underrated.This story was a humbling journey, but not just one It was several little emotional journeys all leading to the same outcome Me in tears.Not exactly sad tears Although they weren t tears from being overcome by happiness, either Nope This author hits with the power of her words and the unfiltered pictures she creates with them No sudden deaths, no vicious betrayals, no obvious reasons to cry.I guess my tears were ones of recognition of being able to pinpoint the beauty in life throughout such a seemingly basic plot But this felt anything but basic, and everything basic all at once I found myself crying for the family members who ve never been able to express their love for one another, and then suddenly a single, subtle profession feels like one of the most significant things I ve ever read I cried for the friendships that were lost, but never wiped away Friendships like yours or mine the ones we may take for granted as we fumble through the hardships of life, never realizing how much of an impact they have until everything else is stripped away I cried for the love stories entwined that were so far broken, a small step forward felt like miles worth of victory I cried when Thomas smiled simply because he d made his friends laugh Yeah, the author is that good I cried because Tom smiled.And not because I m an unstable, emotional mess Although that diagnosis is still pending But this author KNOWS how to create bottomless tragedy and then slowly build it up, offering only tiny crumbs of triumph at a time But it s those little pieces that are everything Whether or not you decide to read Saving Francesca before this, I promise that you ll feel like you re a part of this story from the start There s a bit of confusion at first regarding how the characters all relate, but it all comes together quickly Unlike many books I ve read, this author doesn t dole out information in a list like manner just because she s introducing a plot We have to work a little pay close attention Marchetta s characters have a way of appearing as though they ve been alive long before opening the book, and that they ll somehow live on forever They will draw you in close and they will pull tightly at your heartstrings They ll invite you into their lives and really make you feel like family and that s what I loved most Admittedly, going on about crying is not a conventional way for me to review but this fact remains It s not often I find the simple things in life being appreciated and celebrated with such honest and raw conviction And it s these types of messages I remember mostHe comes from a broken home The Mackees can t be put back together again There are too many pieces of them missingBook Stats Genre Category Contemporary YA Romance Broken but emotional and impactful Characters Beyond lovable Every single one of them Plot Focuses on family, friendships, love, Overcoming and finding happiness and peace Writing Astonishing One of the best authors I ve read POV 3rd Person Perspective Cliffhanger None Can be read as standalone, although Saving Francesca precedes this. Update 7 21 16Didn t love as much as did originally, but the dialog is amazing, that s for sure.Update 8 23 12Well, Saving Francesca is not my favorite any For now I am sticking with the statement that I prefer her fantasies Although it s hard to say how I feel about it after the next round of rereads Otherwise, I pretty much stand by everything in the original review.Original reviewI don t know how Melina Marchetta does it takes a story that seems so soap operish and turns it into something so honest and real Let me tell you what The Piper s Son is all about Tom Mackee is a complete mess His beloved uncle died 2 years ago, his father is lost somewhere, undoubtedly drunk, his mother and sister left his dad and moved to another state Tom has been for years and still is lost and lonely He takes drugs, he abandoned his friends, he betrayed the girl he loved, he dropped out of uni All is bad until he hits the rock bottom and is forced to move in with his aunt Georgie who has a whole set of problems of her own she is pregnant by the man who hurt her in the worst possible way, she is full of grief and despair How will these people pull themselves together In someone else s hands such a plot can turn into cheap melodrama But somehow Marchetta makes it a truly great story of pain, grief, betrayal, forgiveness and love She just has this great way with words You know how people often like to advise authors show not tell, well, Marchetta is a master of showing It s not what her characters say, but what they do and how they do it that gives me goosebumps, or makes my heart ache or my eyes well up with tears I want to take a moment here to say how much I adore the cover of the Australian edition of the novelIt represents the mood of the story so well Tom s loneliness and isolation are so palpable On the other hand, I despise American colorful cover which has nothing to do whatsoever with what is inside this book The Piper s Son is not my favorite Melina Marchetta book, Saving Francesca is And Tom is not my favorite Marchetta boy, that title belongs to Jonah Griggs But I loved this novel I loved revisiting Francesca, Will and their relationship I loved Justine and her violinist will she ever call him BTW, or they need to get their own book to finally get together I loved watching Tom change and make up for his crappy behavior But my favorite part was undoubtedly Georgie and Sam s story, it was heart breakingly beautiful.The Piper s Son was all I expected from the author I can t wait to read it again and againP.S Huge thanks to Jenn and Ariel for making it possible for me to read the novel before its US release. Edit 31 08 11 After re reading some of my favourite parts of this book, I decided to overlook what made me decide to give it 4 instead of 5 stars before It s just too good for anything less than 5.Original ReviewFirst I have to explain why I m not giving this book the full five stars it seems everyone else is giving it Likely it is just me being stupid and inappreciative of subtle beauties but I thought towards the beginning there were too many parts of the book that lost me I understood that the writing was great but I couldn t grasp where the story was going or the point behind it and I spent about half of the first 80 pages getting distracted.And then I got it No, I really did It was the kind of story that is meant to be subtle but turns out all the meaningful for it Melina Marchetta is undoubtedly a fantastic writer who creates very believable and imperfect characters Tom, let s be honest, is a little shit, he deliberately says things he knows will hurt people and he s just generally not a very nice guy But you feel his pain too This book is an example of the good kind of angst, the kind that leaves the reader feeling just as wounded as the characters in question.The vast array of troubled characters who have experienced all kinds of heartbreak and hurt could have turned this novel into something cliched, melodramatic and soap opera ish On the contrary, the author conveys nothing but raw, gut twisting emotion it s difficult not to at least get teary eyed at some point Also, I had to compare Tom s one and a half night stand turned I won t admit it but I desperately need you with Tara Finke to the love angst of Adam in Where She Went Not because the relationships themselves are particularly similar, but because I experienced a similar depth of emotion told in very different ways It has to be said, even though it has already been said by many others before, the scene where Tom goes down on Tara and thinks about the bell line from the poem Oral sex goes poetic It s oddly beautiful.I don t suppose I wrote this review for any other reason than I couldn t help myself I mean, it s not as if the book needed some raving about, the many reviews already shout it out pretty loudly So, you know, if you haven t read this book you know what to do. Thoughts after reread When I first discovered this wonderful story, I was obsessed with Tom How couldn t I This heartbreaking boy pouring down his anger and sadness and loyalty around crushed my heart Yet it doesn t mean that the other characters lacked importance, because they never do with Marchetta who doesn t create walk on parts Even then, I felt connected to every member of the Mackee family, to every friend surrounding Tom This second time, though I m not going to count all the moments I went crying like a baby or tearing up while smiling or laughing crazily as if my life depended on it I won t, because apparently there s this little something called word limit on here and we wouldn t want me rambling all day until reaching it now would we I guess that s a no, but trust me, it was intense That s why the only thing I ll say is this Every relationship gave me chills Every fucking one of them Dominic and Tom Georgie and Sam Tom and the girls Tara and Tom Francesca and Will Callum and Tom Whether they are 6 or 21 or 42 or 70, each and every one of these characters ring true.And I m a bit in love with every one of them Like I was fucking nothing to him Like I m nothing to no one PS PsssHey, you, readers Months after my reading I still find me thinking about Tom and his family, inside in knots, and that s so rare I couldn t not aknowledge that feeling Please, if you feel the urge to step out your comfort zone, just try it Actually that book makes me want to take my entire friend list and to click frantically on recommend but nah, don t worry, I wouldn t do that I think I guess shut up You can know someone all your life, like your parents or family, but I ll tell you this, Ned There s an expression on their face, or a tone in their voice, or the way they walk, that you ve never ever seen before Like they ve kept it hidden Until their brother dies Or their son I remember those days and they were like these strangers and I wanted to say, Who are you peopleFor of my reviews, please visit 4.5 Stars Once again, Melina Marchetta surprised me in a very good way with this novel This was my second book by this author and it s very clear to me now how talented she is The main character in this story is Thomas Tom Mackee , character we met inSaving Francesca The Piper s Sontake place five years after the events inSaving Francescaand fallows up Tom s life, several characters life we met before in the book I mentioned above and some new characters as well It s a story about life, family, friends, love, grief, forgiveness, loyalty and so much It s a complex novel and I loved every minute of it Tom is a mess He drinks, he smokes pot, he sleeps around He s trouble with capital T He dropped out of uni, he s no longer close with his friends, his uncle died, his parents are separated and he doesn t speak with neither of them On top of that, Tara, the only girl he wanted left him and she doesn t want to speak with him any Needless to say Tom is lonely and a little lost as well He s forced by certain circumstances to move with his aunt Georgie who s pregnant and has her own issues to deal with After two years she s still struggle to accept her brother s death and the fact that now she s pregnant by the man who hurt her like no one else Georgie feels exactly like her nephew, angry, lost and lonely This novel has everything I know I said exactly the same think in my review for Saving Francesca, but this is the honest true It s emotional and heartbreaking at times, it s funny, it s sweet, it s a very relatable story in many ways and it s real I was intrigued by Tom s character before starting this novel and I m glad I get to know him better Tom is a character you will like from the beginning He s a flawed character written very well, a character you will feel for, sympathize with and fall for We get to see Tom in many situations in this novel with his family, with his friends and with Tara His character development is fantastically done Like I said he has his own issues and flaws, but genuinely he s a good guy caring, sweet, supportive, attentive, but he also can be an a Anyway, I loved all the emails between Tom and Tara They were funny and sweet, they were perfect And I loved the way he feels for Tara The relationship between Tom and his family felt real to me from the beginning to end I love the dynamic between them all and all the interactions even if they were not always light.Georgie is a character I liked from the beginning Like Tom she has flaws and she also has fears and insecurities I felt for her and overall, like I said I liked her, even if I didn t agree with her decisions at times This is a character driven story, so the plot was pretty simple, not as complex as others YA novels s plots But sometimes engaging, well developed, likeable characters are what a story needs to be perfect.Overall, a wonderful read This is the book for people with truly big heartsMetaphorically speaking, of course, because in the words of warning from Dr Sheldon Cooper, PhDThis is a book about finding your way back after having lost yourself in the depths of grief. It is the story of people who desperately try and often fail to hold their lives together I know this sounds cruel, Georgie, Lucia says, 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. It is an emotional book, full of raw and exposed feelings It is flowing with melancholy which gives way to anger which in turn gives way to love and hope just to swing back into the tender melancholy again It is a book about people broken by their grief, who now have to come to terms with it and learn how to live as whole beings again It is tender and touching, and quite lovely With a healthy helping of angst, I must admit Her voice whispering love soothes him They d never done that before Weren t that type of family Except now he doesn t know what kind of family they are What word is it that can define them What would they call his family in the textbooks Broken He comes from a broken home The Mackees can t be put back together again There are too many pieces of them missing. Now, this lovely Melina Marchetta book barely missed the 4 star designation for me Barely Maybe because I ve been calloused by life at this point Maybe because I feel a little too old to fully accept the amount of angst that it has Maybe because at times I felt like reaching into this book and very gently shaking the characters to their senses And maybe because despite the ever present melancholy I kept having this nagging feeling that somehow everything will magically turn out to be alright, even though to sustain the emotional protracted gut punching it should not have But 3.5 stars I gave it are well earned, and for me Marchetta is becoming a writing force to be reckoned with She knows that feeling too Of believing that each time someone says her name, it s to tell her that something bad has happened If the above quote did not make you sadly sigh, you must be a robot Or an incredibly happy go lucky person The part of this book that I loved and would be happy to give at least 4 stars to was the part with Georgie a 42 year old mother to be, caught in a sticky situation of carrying the babywhich she did not want for the reasons of her ownof a man who has betrayed her in the past All while trying to get over the grief of losing her little brother and, to a point, her twin brother as well Georgie is a lovely character both strong and vulnerable, sometimes unreasonable and petty, at other times amazing with the amount of generosity in her heart and soul She felt real to me, and for most of her story I wanted to reach into the book s pages and give her the most sincere hug.The part that cost this book quite a few of its stars was Georgie s nephew Tom, the other narrative voice, who appears to be of a protagonist of this story than Georgie does He is lonely and broken and lost and a mess and sensitive and misunderstood and all that stuff that is supposed to make my girly heart swoon at his vulnerability Unfortunately, I tend to agree with this quote quite a bit Tom could probably count on the hands of every member of his family, and extended family, and the city of Sydney, how many times he s felt like a dick this year. More than anything, this book is the story of Tom s redemption and him finding his real self again after a trying couple of years of his life But I found it hard to feel for him Wallowing in his own despair, he seemed to be so hell bent on being a jerk to anyone who dared to show any love for him that I decided to not open my heart to him and that was surprisingly easy I just think that the excuse of being a jerk because of your own misery only takes you so far, and that Tom was incredibly lucky to have a group of friends that for whatever reasons did not give up on him They must have had bigger hearts than mine He kisses her and wants to beg her and the others to never give up on him Ever But he gets a feeling that he would be preaching to the converted. 3.5 stars from my calloused heart I have not read the prequel to this one, Saving Francesca, but I will definitely look for it now Melina Marchetta is a good writer, and I m looking forward to of her books full of heart and humor and always quite a bit of sadness Once she made him watch Pride and Prejudice and for ages he would re word Mr Bingley s apology to Jane Bennet, saying, I ve been an inexplicable fool , for anything from losing his keys to burping out loud Her reply to anything she wanted to do was Jane Bennet s response to Bingley s marriage proposal, A thousand times yes. I want to put my arms around Tom Mackee and give him a huge hug I have a soft spot for boys who behave badly but are hurting on the inside and boy, does Tom behave badly And boy, is he hurting The Piper s Son takes place five years after the events in Saving Francesca Tom and Jimmy were my favorite characters from that book, so I was really happy to dive immediately into TPS right after finishing the previous novel When we meet up with Tom again, he s gone through a lot of drinking, a lot of drugs, and a lot of one night stands He s also lost his favorite uncle, he isn t speaking to either of his parents, and he s become estranged from his friends and the one girl he s always dreamed about Tom s now staying with his aunt Georgie, who is the other main character that we follow throughout the novel Georgie is dealing with an unexpected pregnancy by an ex boyfriend she thought was out of her life, and she finds herself in the untenable position of being torn between her pride and her heart Both of them are very confused, very angry, and very, very sad.I loved spending so much time getting to know the complex person that Tom turns out to be What s brilliant about the book is that the author skillfully shows us his character through his relationships with his sister, his parents, and his friends, even though we know he s done a lot of crappy things to nearly all of them I fell in love with the long letters he writes to Tara full of bravado and foolish hope, as well as his persistence in sending them, even though she doesn t write back And I fell in love with Tom for the utter decency of character that we see revealed beneath all the ways that he lashes out at the people around him.I was initially surprised at the unusual choice to spend so much time with Georgie, as the subject of adult women dealing with a tricky relationship isn t the usual YA fare But I liked Georgie s story quite a lot, and I was impressed by how realistically her position is portrayed Most of us can relate to knowing what is the right easy practical thing to do in theory, but we re held back by stubbornness and anger that are side the products of being terribly hurt I will say that at first, it was a little confusing to be confronted by so many family members and characters and some of the story structure is a little confusing, but after awhile I became deeply immersed in where the author was taking us I would loved to have also seen about the elusive Jimmy, however the few glimpses we got of him here and there were among the most touching moments in the book to me This is a complicated novel that touches on the themes of love, loss, joy, grief, integrity, hope, forgiveness, and redemption Above all else, this is a story about family ties and how they lay the foundation for shaping what you arebut it s individual decisions that determine who you will be I ve thought a lot about whether teens today would really be interested in reading a book that is so very adult, and I don t know the answer to that but I do hope they are It s a book that deserves to be read.But seriously, though I really really really want a Jimmy book. The Award Winning Author Of Finnikin Of The Rock And Jellicoe Road Pens A Raw, Compelling Novel About A Family S Hard Won Healing On The Other Side Of TraumaAward 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 The 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

Melina Marchetta was born in Sydney Australia Her first novel, Looking For Alibrandi was awarded the Children s Book Council of Australia award in 1993 and her second novel, Saving Francesca won the same award in 2004 Looking For Alibrandi was made into a major film in 2000 and won the Australian Film Institute Award for best Film and best adapted screen play, also written by the author On the

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  • Paperback
  • 336 pages
  • The Piper's Son
  • Melina Marchetta
  • English
  • 10 September 2018
  • 9780670074235

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