Aly (Fantasy4eva)'s Reviews > The Piper's Son

The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
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Aug 28, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: big-fat-tears, hilarious, favourites, oh-how-the-heart-flutters, boys-that-make-me-swoon, crushing-on-the-cover, fast-paced-and-engrossing, i-ache-for-you, my-kinda-protagonist
Recommended for: those who crave something amazing.
Read on August 29, 2011

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. Kind of hurts huh? I felt that the moment I was on the first page because I knew this was not the Thomas I thought I knew. I got that feeling at the pit of my stomach, the same feeling when I started WHERE SHE WENT and was given this angry, bitter and not so sweet Adam that was so different from the Adam Mia had promised me from the first book. Why do the girls always get it so wrong huh? I mean our sweet Francesca had no clue, not really.

From what I gathered from the first book - I knew that Thomas was quite crude, funny, sarcastic and sweet when he wanted to show you that side of him but mostly he just kept to himself, so nothing prepared me for this guys who is big on drinking, drugs and plenty of casual sex. I also was not prepared for how far his feelings reached when it came to Tara. Heck I knew he liked her, really liked her even, but wow. It would seem tough Thomas has a weakness. Too bad he broke her heart, too bad that he's too lost to even attempt to win her back. With the death of his uncle Joe it was the last straw to anything in life which gave him a grain of stability. He dropped out of university, walked away from the one girl he had ever loved and lost contact with the only friends that he ever truly cared for. The boy, sadly, is one big mess.

I found something with THE PIPERS SON that I didn't quite find with SAVING FRANCESCA. Like JELLICOE ROAD it evoked such emotion within me, I mourned his anger, pain and loss. This tough exterior and bad attitude he used to push people away when he was falling apart inside. How he could turn me to mush when he talked with such genuine love and passion when it came to Tara, but then turn around and stare at his father with such hate that even I had to wince. His anger is understandable though. When his father's drinking went too far his mother left taking his sister with her. And although she pleaded with him to come with her he just couldn't bring himself leave his fathers side. Now that's love and courage. But when the repercussions this decision is fixed with anger and disappointment it turned him into a completely different person. The Thomas who just does not care anymore. However, frustration lies with the mother. I can't be ok with her just up and leaving her husband when he was at rock bottom. And I don't care how much she begged him, she should have done everything in her power to ensure her son came too if she really had to go. She took her daughter with her but had the nerve to leave him as if it would somehow be more bearable for him. She was his mother, he was not hers. And as much as I hate how much his father treated him unfairly and was hard on him, I can't help but feel that his mother wasn't all that different. Neither seemed to consider his feelings when it came to anything big or small. It's so clear when you take a step back. Thomas is lonely and afraid.

The book switches from Thomas to Georgie- his aunt - POV. She's an interesting character who is harbouring her own pain. With her boyfriend doing the unforgivable and then realising she is pregnant with his child - she is left in this awkward, and extremely painful relationship which is slowly tearing the both of them apart. It's so painful to watch that I just wanted them both to be happy. They had both suffered enough and it had come to the point that either they broke all ties or worked past what happened. Georgie and Thomas' relationship has to be one of the most genuine and touching one' out there. She is there for him and always has been, in ways that even his parents were not able to. Above all else though, she truly understands him.

Whilst Thomas surrounds himself in all this hate, he once again comes across old friends. Friends that he left behind. Francesca and Justine are back, and they are not about to let Thomas off the hook quite so easily. It's strange but quite interesting to see the characters though someone else' eyes. Whilst Francesca likes to see the good in people, our boy Thomas is all about the bad. He let's no one of the hook, but on the other hand both are very observant. Will also makes an appearance. To be honest I was always a little iffy about him. His whole arrogance always rubbed me the wrong way and, even now, although I know him and Francesca adore each other a BIG part of me wanted to scream. WHY NOT JIMMY, WHY! And here is where I mention my favourite character. The character that did not even make an appearance in the novel. That kind of kills me. After hearing this vague small story of what's happened with him I wanted to know more, I wanted to know if he was ok, because Jimmy was always mysterious and in the end he remained a mystery. I don't like not knowing characters I click with and when it comes to Jimmy there's practically a big question mark hovering over his head. It's very frustrating. However, for this very reason he could, no should, get his own book. It's so clear to me that Jimmy' story needs to be told. Not only do I love the guy, but he seems to know more about his friends than anyone else.

There are these magical moments that give us a glimpse of this sweet and tender side of Thomas. As you watch him battle with himself you see the love he has for Francesca and Justine. His guilt and worry for Tara and Jimmy. How hard he is trying to push away but how determined they are to have their Thomas back. And it's so obvious that he pushed them away because he knew they were the only ones who could break through the barrier and reach him. Although I was always fond of Thomas this book made me see him in a different light. So different from the prankster and light-hearted Thomas I thought I new. It makes me want to read SAVING FRANCESCA right now and this time around give him my undivided attention. Look out for every expression and word. Try to see where it all went wrong.

Luca and Anabel. It was so lovely to see them. It's wonderful how they all have such important and charming stories of their own. I can imagine there being a book for each one. Tom' two grandfathers falling in love with the same girl, his Aunt Georgie and Sam going through the good times, before they new where life would lead them, the romance that bloomed between his parents and is still there despite all that's happened, his uncle Joe and his beautiful girlfriend, and then it's Tom and Tara, leading eventually to what I couldn't help but notice. There's something beautiful in being a witness to something that will inevitably happen as they grow up. Just knowing. Luc and Anabel are charming characters and they are two people that some years down the line when they meet again, will completely fall in love. I guarantee it. And there's something sad as well as lovely about that. Seeing these two individuals who are so sweet and so meant for one another. I can already imagine their book. *sighs*

The Mullet boys and Ben, guys, are here. Very brief appearance but they are there nevertheless. Not so much the Mullet boys but it was Ben who had my heart racing. He was a character from JELLICOE ROAD which I held a silent sort of fondness for. And although his appearance was brief and hardly all that satisfying, the moment he entered the room, my eyes latched on, and I ached to stand up, run over to him, ask him to sit beside me and just talk. Ask him how life has been, ask him how the others are, gosh I would do anything to know how they are, Taylor, Jonah, Chas. I miss those guys so much sometimes it's ridiculous. Most of all I wanted to hug him, and tell him what their story means so me.

There is so much depth and beauty in THE PIPERS SON. Every page I went though made me more and more anxious because I knew it would eventually lead me to the end. And I didn't want to let go. Seeing all these new and old characters had such a profound affect on me. Because let's face it, Marchetta's characterization is just divine.

How do I even explain what Marchetta's characters do to you? It's so hard to put into words, but there's something magical about them. You can't pry your eyes away and once Thomas gives you that grin, Francesca that love, Jonah that intense *swoon worthy* stare, Taylor that heart, Justine, Ben and Chas that loyalty - it's close to impossible to ever go back. You'll struggle with other books because you know what potential is out there.

SAVING FRANCESCA is wonderful, yes, but THE PIPERS SON, is amazing.
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Quotes Aly (Fantasy4eva) 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
“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.”
Melina Marchetta, The Piper's Son

Melina Marchetta
“Ned?' he says, after a while. 'Oi, Ned?'
'If someone says to you that the guy they're going out with doesn't have to prove how smart he is, what's your response?'
'That he's dumb.'
'And if he has a sixpack?'
'Dumb jock.'
'Not too intense.'
'Dumb jock with no personality.'
'And they see eye to eye?'
Ned pauses. 'With the spitfire from Dili?'
'Same,' Tom corrects.
Ned holds up a hand to where Tara would reach him in height.
'Dumb jock with no personality and short-man syndrome.'
'Thanks, Ned.'
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

Melina Marchetta
“Back in Georgie's attic, he yanks the phone out of the socket and begins scrolling down the names under dialed calls, praying to anyone who will listen. God. Baby Jesus. Saint Thomas the doubter. Saint Whoever, patron saint of losers. Praying, Please, please, don't let it be true.

The first name shatters him.

The second makes his head spin.”
Melina Marchetta, The Piper's Son

Melina Marchetta
“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.”
Melina Marchetta, The Piper's Son

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Audrey (holes In My brain) I'm so glad you liked this!! <3 I can't wait to read your review :)

Aly (Fantasy4eva) I have something rough saved but it doesn't do the book justice which is annoying me. It's always the amazing books which leave you a little loss for words, but I'm working on it. And me too. I loved it a lot more than Saving Francesca, oh and I was so sad that Jimmy wasn't there. And girl I had no idea that Thomas had it that bad for Tara. Wow. When I saw Ben.. I just squealed!!

Alanna I love this book too, Jellicoe Road is my favourite book of hers but The Piper's Son was such a close second, I wish I could write the way she does. I should've re-read Saving Francesca before reading The Piper's Son - there was a few years between when I read SF and this, so I probably missed a bunch of smaller character cameos in there.

Aly (Fantasy4eva) Alanna wrote: "I love this book too, Jellicoe Road is my favourite book of hers but The Piper's Son was such a close second, I wish I could write the way she does. I should've re-read Saving Francesca before read..."

I realised later that I should have re -read SF. Reading THE PIPERS SON made me realise that I hadn't been as observant about Thomas in SF as I should have. I new there was this raw quality about him, but not to this extent. It's my second fav Marchetta book :)

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