Author: Melina Marchetta
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Year Published: 2010
Number of Pages: 328 pages
Date Read: 6/3/2013
Series: Saving Francesca #2
Publisher: Penguin Australia/Viking
Content Rating: Ages 16+ (Death of a Family Member and Strong Language)
After reading Melina Marchetta’s classic novel “Saving Francesca,” I was excited to hear about Melina Marchetta writing the sequel to that story, “The Piper’s Son!” This time, the story is focused on Thomas Finch Mackee as he deals with the sudden death of his Uncle Joe and how it is negatively affecting him and his family.
Five years ago, Thomas Finch Mackee was best friends with Francesca Spinelli, Justine Kalinsky and Will Trombal (well, sort of). But all of that changed when Tom’s Uncle Joe is suddenly blown up in a foreign country and Tom handles the tragedy poorly as he starts doing drugs and breaks ties with his former friends. Now, Tom is trying to mend his broken relationships with both his former friends, Francesca and Justine, and with the love of his life, Tara Finke, while dealing with his Aunt Georgie’s unexpected pregnancy and her break up with her boyfriend Sam. But, will Tom have the strength to move on with his life and fix everything that he had done wrong in the past?
Wow! I never would have thought that I would read a Melina Marchetta book that was better than “Saving Francesca” (well, actually “Jellicoe Road” took that honor)! But, “The Piper’s Son” has proven to be one of Melina Marchetta’s most heartwarming and genuine books ever written! I loved the way that Melina Marchetta portrayed Thomas Mackee’s character as Tom is usually rude, sarcastic and distant, but as the book goes on, Tom’s character starts evolving and I loved seeing his softer side as he is truly a good friend to both Francesca and Justine. I also loved the way that Melina Marchetta portrayed Tom’s reaction to his uncle’s death as the death was truly tragic for Tom and it was quite intense seeing Tom become so distant towards his former friends and lashing out at everyone who tried to talk to him. To me, Melina Marchetta really portrayed the sense of loss within a family in a realistic and dramatic way and I often found myself sympathizing with Tom’s ordeal of losing his uncle. I really loved Tom’s relationship with Francesca, Tara and Justine as he is always sarcastic around them, which provides so much witty dialogue from all the characters and it made their friendship feel so genuine. I also loved the fact that this story is told from both Tom’s and his aunt Georgie’s point of view as it really made this story more layered as we are seeing the effect of Uncle Joe’s death from both Tom’s and Georgie’s point of view. I really enjoyed hearing Georgie’s side of the story about her dealing with her unexpected pregnancy and trying to decide about whether or not she should take Sam back, who had cheated on her early on. I will admit that when I first read this book and it was told in the third person point of view instead of the first person point of view that I read in “Saving Francesca” and “Jellicoe Road,” I was a little surprised at how the viewpoint was changed from the previous novels. But, I found the third person point of view narrative to be truly engaging and I found myself truly understanding what each of these characters are going through. I loved the fact that this story takes place in Australia since it gives this novel an exotic feel and whenever they mentioned places like Sydney and Brisbane, I often imagined myself being in those places!
For those of you who do not like reading novels with strong language, this novel is full of strong language, such as the constant use of the “f” word and the “s” word. Also, this novel deals with the subject of death in a family and anyone who had lost a loved one might have a hard time getting through this book since it is about Tom trying to deal with the death of his uncle.
Overall, “The Piper’s Son” is a truly fantastic story about how a family tries to cope with the death of a loved one and to never take life for granted. Fans of Melina Marchetta’s works will definitely love this novel for many years!