The Piper's Son
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The Piper's Son

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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  6,676 ratings  ·  917 reviews
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 trauma.

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 u...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Penguin Australia/Viking
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On the Jellicoe Road by Melina MarchettaThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakSaving Francesca by Melina MarchettaGraffiti Moon by Cath CrowleyTomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
Favourite Aussie YA books
6th out of 239 books — 739 voters
On the Jellicoe Road by Melina MarchettaFinnikin of the Rock by Melina MarchettaSaving Francesca by Melina MarchettaThe Piper's Son by Melina MarchettaFroi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
Favorite Melina Marchetta Novels
4th out of 9 books — 179 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
utterly destroyed.

all i did while reading this book is cry. in the middle of penn station for hours. in the receiving room at work. in the subway. at home. tears. everywhere. i am going to have to buy the copy i borrowed from work because my tears got on a couple of pages.

it is unprecedented.

and it doesn't hurt that i have been blue for a couple of months now, but it also doesn't help that this woman knows how punch you in the heart in a variety of ways with stealth and precision.

because it's...more
Wendy Darling
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 o...more
Flannery
Apr 07, 2011 Flannery rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone with a pulse
Recommended to Flannery by: Awesome people
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...more
Tatiana
Aug 24, 2012 Tatiana rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Melina Marchetta fans
As seen on The Readventurer

Update 8/23/12

Well, Saving Francesca is not my favorite any more. For now I am sticking with the statement that I prefer her fantasies more now. 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 review

I 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...more
Nataliya
This is the book for people with truly big hearts¹.

¹ Metaphorically speaking, of course, because in the words of warning from Dr. Sheldon Cooper, PhD:


This 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 yo
...more
Emily May


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 Review
First 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 th...more
Mariel
Mar 26, 2011 Mariel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: incurable humanists
Recommended to Mariel by: do the right thing
Sometimes 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...more
Eh?Eh!
At first I had this book at arms-length. It couldn't be as good as Saving Francesca! This one seemed to be all these wacky family and friends, entertaining but nothing I could identify with. But...actually, I could. Somehow, I understood these people, their frustrations and love. I broken-record bemoan how my family has never communicated like this, how I've never been part of a circle of friends like this. They're so luckyyyyyy, my life is sooooooooo harrrrrrd...hah, I do get stuck in the woe-i...more
Janina
I know I should have savoured this book in its entirety. I should have read slowly and taken my time. The book clearly deserves savouring.
But I have no restraint. Instead, I holed up in my room for the whole afternoon (hurray for being a university student with Friday afternoons off!), neglecting food and any means of communication, and finished The Piper’s Son in about eight hours, taking only very small breaks. Now I feel a bit lightheaded and dizzy, my eyes are puffy and a little red from cr...more
Sparrow
I have decided to write a review of this book, but it is sensitive territory, I think, and I don’t want to make anybody feel from my review the way I feel from the book. I am not giving the book a star rating because I can’t tell if it is a good book or not through the amount that I hate it on a personal level, and I feel like giving it a low rating would discount other people's experiences of tragedy or something. (Okay, after almost a year of considering it, I did decide to rate this book. Sor...more
Jessica

And yet again, another one of Melina Marchetta’s novels leaves me utterly breathless!

Alright guys, buckle up, this is going to get sappy. :)

When I started reading The Piper’s Son I was a little confused, I had trouble keeping up with who was related to whom and I had a hard time finding my way back into the story. I already started to panic and was worried that I might not feel the love this time but I told myself to be patient because so far, it had always started out this way for me with March...more
Aly (Fantasy4eva)
Isn't the Aussie cover just gorgeous?


Photobucket













“She's tired and leans her head on his shoulder, which is the resting place for all their heads, but when Justine and Siobhan and Francesca use his body so shamelessly he doesn't feel the need to turn his head and press his mouth against their hair..

Tom wants oblivion.
He's 'aiming for oblivion' because he is sick of everything.
His uncle Joe died a few years back and he has never been quite the same since. He is still full of anger and grief and bitterness. W...more
Nic
"Maybe she'd always been there. Maybe strangers enter your heart first and then you spent the rest of your life searching for them."

Marchetta is a writing god!!! I have spent the day re-reading parts of this book that I love. I didn’t want this story to end.

The Piper’s Son is set 5 years after Saving Francesca. It is from Thomas Mackee’s POV and also his Aunty Georgia‘s, POV. Thomas Mackee isn’t the loveable misfit we all remember, he is sad and pissed off at the world. He is grieving the loss o...more
Jasprit
"He comes from a broken home. The Mackees can’t be put back together again. There are too many pieces of them missing".

Without a shadow of a doubt, The Piper’s Son is my favourite Melina Marchetta book so far. It had this rawness about it that could touch you so deep, it was achy, and was full of so much heartfelt emotion seriously my feelings were all over the place with this book.

Thomas Mackee, do you know what you’ve done to me?

Tom had closed himself off from everyone after having lost his u...more
Chachic
2012 NOTE: I first read this March last year and just reread it because of Marchetta Madness. Funny that I finished rereading this one the same day I posted a review last year. :P Maybe I should make it a yearly tradition? Glad I now have the Aussie edition because it's even more beautiful in person. And yep, the book itself is just as amazing as I remembered (it still made me cry).

2011 review: Originally posted here.

Today's my birthday and I'm glad that I get to post a review of what has becom...more
Alexa
Dec 08, 2010 Alexa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

My review can also be found on my blog Collections.

I love Thomas. Out of all the boys in Saving Francesca, it was definitely Thomas who stood out to me. Really happy to know more about him and his situation, including the rest of his family's. Melina Marchetta is always so great with family and friend relationships.

I also loved the parts with Thomas and the other characters from Saving Francesca, especially Tara, the girls, and Will Trombal. Awesome friends and hilarious moments. The new charact...more
Arlene
Nov 27, 2010 Arlene rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Street Corner Bookers
Recommended to Arlene by: Albie Thank you!!!
Maybe she’d always been there. Maybe strangers enter your heart first and then you spend the rest of your life searching for them. - TM

I don’t know how she does it, but Marchetta delivers it every time - a fictional story that seems so real, a cast of characters you’re not ready to let go of, and a powerful dialog that reaches into your heart and soul and reveals lessons and observations that have you contemplating love, life, loss and redemption. Absolute and shear perfection that I will never...more
Ash Wednesday
Jul 06, 2013 Ash Wednesday rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: New Adult fans who want to see realistic fiction done right
4.5 STARS

I came in this book, expecting a guffaws-a-minute marathon with Thomas Mackee, the "last bastion of patriarchal poor taste, arrested development and mental retardation". So it took me a couple of chapters to get into the groove of things seeing as this is actually a story about Tom AND his aunt Georgie, 5 years after Saving Francesca, living in the years after the death of a beloved family member. That and every possible issue you can cram in a New Adult-Adult book: family, friendship,...more
Ronyell
5.5 stars!

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 Un...more
Lisa O.
Wow. My heart must be made of stone to give this book three stars.

Five years have passed since the days of Saving Francesca and Tom Mackee is a total mess. He's lost it all: dropped out of school, lost Tara Finke's heart, lost his uncle in a terrorist attack in London, lost all trust in his alcoholic's father, lost him mom and sister who moved to Brisbane and lost his mind getting high on various substances. He's lost his friends too, Francesca, Justine, Siobhan, Tara, Jimmy. Actually, he dumped...more
Laura
My love affair with Melina Marchetta continues! :D

Her words, style, and voices make my heart beat faster, stomach drop and twist, and head whirl with thoughts and memories. The tone and feel of her words just fit right in my heart. Her stories seem to pulse with this coiled intensity—a gritty beat that creeps up on me, sticks in my gut, and makes me smile, laugh or cry. Just when I think the sadness is going to overcome me, she throws in a jab of sly humor that just makes me laugh out loud. I ju...more
Kim
Another visual review, again one with a picture of my face: Puffy red eyes and a goofy smile on my face. It took ma a while to read this book but it was worth taking things slow. My god. So worth it.

It's like my friend Nic said in her review: It's like you are there with the characters. You are sitting at their table, in the middle of it, being a part of it all. They are beyond real. I won't be surprised if I run into one of them one day. I really hope I do.

Books just don't get any better than t...more
Jo
"But this beat is fast and even though his joints are aching, his arm's out of control like it has a mind of its own and the sweat that drenches his hair and face seem to smother him, but nothing's going to stop Tom. He's aiming for oblivion.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
I feel so very stricken. How does MM do these things to my soul?

High Points.
Thomas Finch Mackee. Family. History. Honesty. Grief. Reality. Late night phone calls. Sydney International Airport. Attics. E-Mails. Impossible questio...more
♥Rachel♥
Piper's Son is sequel to Saving Francesca, set five years in the future. I was so excited that we would get to see more of these people after reading Saving Francesca, because I loved all these characters so much. Also, anything written by Melina Marchetta is guaranteed to captivate you.

This story centers on Thomas Finch Mackee who was a secondary character in Saving Francesca. Tom was sort of an unmannered pig in that book but you grew to love him and his big heart in the end. Tom is sort of i...more
Keertana
I am always struck with a feeling of hopelessness when I finish a Melina Marchetta novel because I know that there is nothing I can say and that there are no words that I can articulate perfectly enough to truly express what I feel about her books. I feel as if that feeling was amplified seven-fold while reading The Piper’s Son because I simply cannot express how beautiful, touching, and poignant it is. In some ways, writing a review for The Piper’s Son is one of the hardest things I’ve ever fou...more
Catie
This is the third Melina Marchetta book I’ve read that deals with a large close knit family healing itself after being broken apart by tragedy (I don’t include Looking for Alibrandi or Finnikin of the Rock in that list), but I definitely wouldn’t say that the topic has gotten old for me. I think that’s Marchetta’s gift – she can take a simple story and fill it with so much gut wrenching truth and emotion that it’s just beautiful.

This book follows Tom Mackee, who was first introduced in Saving Fr...more
Aly (Fantasy4eva)
She's done it again. It feels cruel almost, to know that this is the end. I mean I still struggle with knowing that there is nothing to follow after JELLICOE ROAD but to have another one of my personal favourites come to an end is going to be tough to digest for a while.

Dear, dear Thomas. It's an odd feeling to know that one of your favourite characters might just be a complete stranger to you. You know when you think you know someone, and then you find out that really, you were not even close....more
Steph Su
I have never read a book by Melina Marchetta that I haven’t loved, which makes her one of a kind. THE PIPER’S SON takes beloved characters from Saving Francesca and makes them hurt—makes us hurt in reading about their struggles—and yet leaves us with a story so powerful, so resonant, so complex, that it’s hard to imagine that such an accomplishment was achieved at the hands of a human being.

Readers of THE PIPER’S SON should not expect the same tone as was in Saving Fracesca. THE PIPER’S SON is d...more
Ariana
4.5 stars.. This was such a beautiful story (as usual).



I am a Marchetta fan - she is simply amazing, she knows how to rip your heart out and then to put it back in place.
And, BTW, if the next one is about Jimmy i'm going to be so, so happy :D

PS: not sure why but I simply can't talk about Marchetta's books, she is just too awesome for me to put into a few words what she sais in a whole wonderful story.
I wouldn't be able to do justice to her work .. after all, what is better than reading a book b...more
Kat Kennedy
I was going to write a review for this, but no. Just go read Ceridwen's instead.



What are you still doing here? Go!
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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...more
More about Melina Marchetta...
On the Jellicoe Road Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1) Saving Francesca Looking for Alibrandi Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2)

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“Maybe she'd always been there. Maybe strangers enter your heart first and then you spent the rest of your life searching for them. ” 261 likes
“I’m scared I’m going to spend the rest of my life in a state of yearning, regardless of where I am.” 215 likes
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