Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Piper's Son” as Want to Read:
The Piper's Son
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Piper's Son

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  11,515 ratings  ·  1,466 reviews
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 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 m
Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Penguin Australia/Viking
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Piper's Son, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
G I would recommend reading Francesca first. I don't think it would have the same impact if you weren't already familiar with the characters.…moreI would recommend reading Francesca first. I don't think it would have the same impact if you weren't already familiar with the characters.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,515 ratings  ·  1,466 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Piper's Son
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
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
not a long review because this story is less about what i liked/disliked and more about how it made me feel.

it makes me mourn friendships that have been lost and grateful for ones that last. its makes want to have patience for family members i dont get along with and hug those that i love. it makes me recognise that trials can be important lessons and some of the best things take a lot of effort.

this simple, understated story captures the depth of life and relationships in such an honest way.
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
Kristin (KC)
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: weepy, young-adult
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 recogni
Jun 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Update /7/21/16
Didn't love as much as did originally, but the dialog is amazing, that's for sure.

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. 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 so
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
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

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 th
Emily May
May 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 in “Saving Francesca”. “The Piper’s Son” take place five years after the events in “Saving Francesca” and 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 ab
Sep 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
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
Mar 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Meredith Holley
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
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
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
Aly (Fantasy4eva)
Isn't the Aussie cover just gorgeous?

[image error]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


Second read and lost it on page one, line one.

Man, was it ever hard to reread this book knowing what's coming and sometimes not remembering what's coming, only that pain definitely is. The first quarter of this book is a nonstop barrage of punches to the gut and the rest is more of the slow mo variety. No wonder I finished it in a day the first time around and now had to take breaks in between. (Definitely not taking such lo
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

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
"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
Robin (Bridge Four)
12/18/14 This is on sale on amazon for $1.99, great time to pick it up

4.5 Super Stars

Melina Marchette is the only author I’ve found that can break and squish my heart more times than I can count in a book and make me love every minute of it and ask for more. The stories she tells about families that are strong and loving but have been broken by a tragedy and are trying to pick up the pieces again draw you in to the point you never want to leave. The only
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
Jul 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
"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

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
Sue (Hollywood News Source)
Sometimes I read sad books about lonely people and it makes me feel things. It’s so inexplicable and consuming. I’m afraid I’m going to drown with all these sentiments inside me.

That’s what I felt reading The Piper’s Son.

I don’t know how Melina Marchetta manages to do it, but she always impart something life jarring message to her readers.

Review to come.
May 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Confession – writing this was terrifying. I love this book in an intense unexplainable way that makes me nervous. It makes me selfish, clutching my thoughts to my chest, unwilling to share them because they are mine and you can’t have them. This book is my secret and it’s time I came clean.

There is a reason why Marchetta is my favourite author and it extends beyond her skills as a writer. It is her ability to read people; to strip back the layers and lay them bare. She doesn’t box them into trop
Oct 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Ash Wednesday

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, friendsh
Sep 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing

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 makes me laugh out loud. I just lo
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
YA Buddy Readers'...: The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta → Restarting September 9th 2018 11 154 Aug 17, 2018 02:40AM  
Georgie's full name? 1 12 Jan 10, 2015 06:05AM  
Where do you see them now? 1 62 May 01, 2013 06:30PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Graffiti Moon
  • Summer Skin
  • Do No Harm
  • What Would LaVonda Robinette Do?
  • Death's Embrace
  • Feeling Sorry for Celia (Ashbury/Brookfield, #1)
  • Personal Demons (Personal Demons, #1)
  • Inheritance
  • Falling into Place
  • It's Not Me, It's You
  • A Wonderlandiful World (Ever After High, #3)
  • Unnecessary Drama
  • Six Impossible Things
  • Some Mistakes Were Made
  • Hollowland (The Hollows, #1)
  • Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot (Cecelia and Kate, #1)
  • Words in Deep Blue
  • The Gaps
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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

Related Articles

Looking for new young adult books featuring determined protagonists, sweet romance, and adventures of every kind? Then these authors are...
74 likes · 2 comments
“I’m scared I’m going to spend the rest of my life in a state of yearning, regardless of where I am.” 315 likes
“Maybe she'd always been there. Maybe strangers enter your heart first and then you spent the rest of your life searching for them. ” 314 likes
More quotes…