Chachic's Reviews > The Piper's Son

The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
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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 become one of my favorite reads this year. The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta is a companion novel to Saving Francesca, which I enjoyed reading last year. I think both books stand well on their own so there's no need to read one before the other. I can't even remember the details in Saving Francesca while I was reading The Piper's Son (which I regret. I will reread both books consecutively in the future). I love Melina Marchetta and Jellicoe Road is actually one of the books that encouraged me to read more contemporary YA.



How about that Aussie cover? I think it's lovely and I wanted to get a copy of it. I feel like the US edition is marketed for a younger audience when The Piper's Son doesn't read like a YA novel. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a way to get it so I went ahead and ordered the US edition because I've been waiting to read this for a while now. Let me just say that it was totally worth the wait! There's something about Melina Marchetta's books and her writing that makes the characters come alive and it makes you want to squeeze yourself into each close-knit group and beg to be included. That's how I felt when I read Jellicoe Road and again when I finished The Piper's Son. I wanted to become a part of their world, I wanted to feel all that love and yes, even the heartbreak and the pain that go with it. I can't get over how amazing Melina Marchetta is as a writer because she can really make you feel. Her books can make you laugh and cry and care about her characters to the point that you become fully invested in them. You feel like you're experiencing everything that her characters are going through and even when they're mostly difficult situations, you'll still love every minute of it. The Piper's Son is an achingly beautiful book that manages to do just that.

Tom is such a broken person at the start of the book and you just hurt for him and his family. The point of view changes from Tom to his aunt Georgie and the reader gets a clearer picture of each family member and most of their friends because of this. The Piper's Son is about grief and the slow healing process that goes with it. The characters were fully fleshed out, even the secondary ones, and Melina Marchetta shows how a person's actions and feelings affect the people around him or her. It reminds me of ripples in water and how they spread out to bigger areas. In my opinion, this book perfectly describes how complicated different kinds of relationships are. Family, friendships and romantic relationships - all of these are highlighted and illustrated in this book. Even if there's a lot of love involved, people are bound to make mistakes that they'll regret and it's a matter of knowing when something is worth fighting for and when someone deserves to be forgiven. Music is also a huge aspect of this book because a lot of the characters are into it. I've never been a big music geek but this book made me want to make a playlist and look up all of the songs mentioned in it. If it isn't obvious yet, I loved this book to bits. It's all kinds of wonderful. If you haven't had a chance to pick this up, I urge you to READ IT. After finishing this book, I couldn't stop thinking about it and I had one of those "THIS is why I read!" moments.

Side note: Does anyone know if Ben the Violinist in this one is the same Ben from Jellicoe Road? If yes, then that's awesome.
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Quotes Chachic Liked

Melina Marchetta
“Maybe she'd always been there. Maybe strangers enter your heart first and then you spent the rest of your life searching for them. ”
Melina Marchetta, The Piper's Son

Melina Marchetta
“...women are elephants and watch the way you say that in front of them because they'll think you're calling them fat and there's no coming back from that moment. But they hoard. They say they don't, but they do. We think that if something's not spoken about again, it goes away. It doesn't. Nothing goes away just like that...”
Melina Marchetta, The Piper's Son

Melina Marchetta
“I’m scared I’m going to spend the rest of my life in a state of yearning, regardless of where I am.”
Melina Marchetta, The Piper's Son


Reading Progress

03/22/2011 "FINALLY have my copy! Yay, so excited to read this." 3 comments
03/23/2011
16.0% 2 comments
03/22/2012 page 1
0.0% ""...nothing's going to stop Tom. He's aiming for oblivion." Rereading this one right after Saving Francesca."
03/26/2012 page 29
9.0% ""The last is of Joe and his girlfriend standing on Solsbury Hill in Somerset back in 2005. Peter Gabriel's 'Solsbury Hill' was Tom's father's favourite song, so Joe sent him the next best thing." Ahh so that's why Solsbury Hill is in the playlist for The Piper's Son."
03/26/2012 page 80
24.0% ""Tom needs to know. Who kept one of their own from the mind-numbing solitude from those nights of hell? And because he can't stand it any longer, because sometimes he thinks everything inside of him will crack, he walks to where Georgie has her back to him at the sink and wraps his arms around her and they stand there for a long while, their bodies shuddering from the exhaustion of this dry retching of emotion."" 3 comments
03/26/2012 page 112
34.0% ""Georgie makes him listen to stuff that she doesn't play when she's out in the real world. There's a whole lot of Regina Spektor, who sings about a guy called Samson being her sweetest downfall. Tom becomes a closet fan and listens to it secretly in his attic. He wonders if it's the type of stuff Tara would have written if she had to write music about their relationship.""
03/27/2012 page 284
87.0% ""Maybe she'd always been there. Maybe strangers enter your heart first and then you spent the rest of your life searching for them." Ahh this book is just as good as I remembered. Sigh, it was a great idea to reread this."

Comments (showing 1-42 of 42) (42 new)

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Heidi (Yup. Still here.) I don't remember a Ben the violinist from JR, but when I re-read it I will let you know!


Heidi (Yup. Still here.) Happy belated Birthday!


Chachic Heidi, Ben's in Taylor's school. I think one of her subordinates, I remember him as the one that Jonah "punished" by stepping on his fingers. And then Jonah regretted it when he heard Ben play the violin.

Thanks for the greeting! It's still my birthday for a little over an hour.


message 4: by Kwesi 章英狮 (last edited Mar 29, 2011 10:16AM) (new) - added it

Kwesi 章英狮 Islamq recommended this book to me!


Catie Yes, I think that it is that Ben!! Worlds collide!


Heidi (Yup. Still here.) It is Ben! Melina says so herself here http://www.yabibliophile.com/2011/03/... - great pick up Chachic!!!


Chachic Kwesi, it's a great book! I hope you get to read it soon.

Catie and Heidi, some other bloggers confirmed it in my review, it IS Ben from Jellicoe. :) But thanks for the link as well!


Isamlq Kwesi 章英狮 wrote: "Islamq recommended this book to me!"

About Ben- isn't it cool seeing characters in books we love in other books we love?

@Kwesi, read it na!!!!


Chachic Isamlq, it was a fun little tidbit for Jellicoe fans and I'm so glad Melina Marchetta included it.


message 10: by Beth (new) - rated it 5 stars

Beth I knew you would like it :D

Happy birthday!

(hugs Australian copy)


Chachic Thanks Beth! Jealous of your Australian copy. From what bookstore did you buy it?


message 12: by Beth (new) - rated it 5 stars

Beth I ordered it online last March from Australia through Alibris - I don't remember the store.


Dottie I love everything by Melina Marchetta! She's an amazing writer. I can't wait to read this.

Belated happy birthday! :)


Chachic Beth, thanks for the tip! Maybe I could do that if I'm determined to get an Aussie edition. Might as well get one of Jellicoe while I'm at it.

Dottie, I hope you get to read this soon. :)


Aly (Fantasy4eva) yes it's that Ben, and the mullet boys were there.(chaz' henchmen) lol. I remember that moment. I seriously gasped and had this big 'omg' moment because it was so unexpected. I adored this book. I reread saving francesca just a few days ago because i missed them all so much. i realised i hadn't paid it as much attention the first time because I felt disappointed with it due to just finishing jellicoe road. which was unfair. but this time around, wow it blew me away.

fab review :)


Chachic NOTE (weird, I can't edit the review): 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).


message 17: by Roshini (new) - added it

Roshini Happy Birthday!


Chachic Thanks Roshini! Like I said in the comment above, I posted this review March 29 last year. :P


message 19: by Roshini (new) - added it

Roshini Hehe still thought I'd wish you:-) Have a great day!


Chachic Thanks again! :D


Wendy Darling Happy birthday, Chachic! :) Hope you get lots of books this year.


Chachic Thank you, Wendy! I hope so too. :)


Jasprit Wonderful review Chachic! I didn't know it was the same Ben either! that's awesome! :)


Chachic It's Ben with the Mullet Brothers and Choi, right? :P


Maggie Happy birthday, Chachic! I'm so glad you got to spend it with Tom Mackee. :)


Chachic Thank you, Maggie! Before this, I spent some time with Francesca and the rest of the gang. And Taylor and Jonah. :P


message 27: by Estara (new)

Estara Happy Birthday, Chachic, wishing you lots of health! I've made an LJ Feed for your blog so I can follow it more closely. Thanks for your awesome book posts ^^.


Chachic Oh wow, thanks for the greeting, Estara, and for making than LJ feed for my blog! Would it be okay if I spread the word about it? :)


message 29: by Estara (new)

Estara That's what it is there for ^^. Even free LJ's can add feeds to their friends page, they just can't create new ones. I've been using LJ as sort of a feed-reader for years, heh.


Chachic I used to cross-post my entries to LJ before but got tired of that LOL. So thank you so much for creating this LJ feed. :)


message 31: by Estara (new)

Estara Well, the feed is a bit slow and if they have problems it can be a few days until LJ suddenly shoves all the recent posts onto the friends page, but these days they even support showing how many comments the original Wordpress post has - so I think it's a better compromise than having to crosspost - I'm sure Wordpress is not as LJ-oriented as dreamwidth, where it is totally easy to crosspost, from what I gather.


Chachic Yeah, I figured it wouldn't update as fast as the actual blog but it's better than nothing. So you still mostly use LJ for following feeds? I've moved on to Google Reader when I shifted from LJ to Wordpress.


message 33: by Estara (new)

Estara Yes, because most of my online friends I made via LJ in the first place, and there are still lots of sf&f authors who have their main blogs there (or mirror their personal blogs).
I tried my own wordpress blog for a few years, on my own server, but there was just less exchange of comments (at the time WP didn't even HAVE a big platform of blogs that are interlinked, just the software itself).
So these days I can still exchange comments with my LJ friends, read the feeds from other places - LJ imports blogger posts or really any blog software that offers feeds as an import - and if I want to comment I click through to them.
The only other platform I regularly use outside of that has become GoodReads, for the instant book discussion and recommendation and reviewing connection.


Chachic I think I shifted to Wordpress back in 2010 because I thought it looked better and it was easier to use - I've been satisfied with it so far, even though I just use the free Wordpress and not the self-hosted one. I do miss the comment notifications that we get on LJ (although Wordpress now has that).

Oh yes, love Goodreads too. :) You're not interested in signing up for Twitter? That's another excellent social networking site for chatting with bloggers, readers and authors.


message 35: by Estara (new)

Estara Twitter is TOO instant for me ^^ - it's like my attempt using IM software outside of the online game I used to take part in - I felt I had to be always and instantly available for answer - same thing with IRC, really.

I can't handle that. Here and on LJ I can answer hours later and it usually is something that the first commenter can follow along, even if others have commented on the post in between.


Chachic Ahh yes, I get your point. Well, there are times when it takes me hours to reply to a tweet because of the time difference. Twitter is like instant messaging while you're online but it's up to you if you want to check back your timeline to catch up on what you missed while you're offline (sometimes I do it, sometimes no).


message 37: by Abby (new) - added it

Abby Oh my god I am so, SO heartbroken about that Aussie cover too. I want to get that edition so badly but it's either the stores I know are out of stock or they have it priced toooo high! :( I can't wait to read this either and my fate may end up like yours if I grow impatient enough.


Chachic Abby, a year after I posted this review, I was fortunate enough to receive the Aussie edition. :) I talked about it on this post: http://chachic.wordpress.com/2012/02/...

How about giving Fishpond a try if you're determined to get the same edition? http://www.fishpond.com.sg/Books/Pipe... Take note that Aussie editions are really more expensive that US or UK ones.


message 39: by Abby (new) - added it

Abby You are so lucky to have one that is signed!!!!! (And you're Filipina! Hi! Haha! :D) I actually stayed up researching the Aussie edition last night (I am this passionate LOL) and found out that Fishpond indeed has the lowest price for TPS. :) Ah, well, I'll get it. :) Thank you! :D


Chachic Good luck with your Fishpond order, hope everything goes well! :) You might enjoy going through the posts in the Marchetta Madness week that I organized last year: http://chachic.wordpress.com/category... All about Melina Marchetta's wonderful novels.


message 41: by Abby (new) - added it

Abby I have been looking for the post that I came across before regarding the Aussie cover being somehow similar with someone's album cover. Didn't know it was this very post! Thank you Chachic!


Chachic No problem! Hope you enjoy going through the rest of the posts for Marchetta Madness. :)


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