Sunday, 6 November 2011

#21 Book review: The Piper's Son

The Piper's Son
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 328
Published: March 1st 2010
Author: Melina Marchetta

Summary from Goodreads:
Melina Marchetta's brilliant, heart-wrenching new novel takes up the story of the group of friends from her best-selling, much-loved book Saving Francesca - only this time it's five years later and Thomas Mackee is the one who needs saving.

Thomas Mackee wants oblivion. Wants to forget parents who leave and friends he used to care about and a string of one-night stands, and favourite uncles being blown to smithereens on their way to work on the other side of the world.

But when his flatmates turn him out of the house, Tom moves in with his single, pregnant aunt, Georgie. And starts working at the Union pub with his former friends. And winds up living with his grieving father again. And remembers how he abandoned Tara Finke two years ago, after his uncle's death.

And in a year when everything's broken, Tom realises that his family and friends need him to help put the pieces back together as much as he needs them.

My review:
Quite frankly, I have to say that I like The Piper's Son more than Saving Francesca. When I read the summary of this book, I was really excited to read what life is like for Thomas Mackee 5 years later. In Saving Francesca, Thomas was more of a prankster who loved music and also developed crush on Tara Finke, one of Francesca's friends. We also get to meet most of the characters from Saving Francesca such as Francesca, Will Trombal, Siobhan, Tara Finke and Justine. But the main focus of this story is of course, Thomas Mackee himself. This book is even more touching than Saving Francesca and it carries the theme of death, what it's like to have a family member who died, trying to keep yourself together and feeling that life is very worthless which is basically what Thomas a.k.a Tom is feeling throughout the book.

The Piper's Son is a term referring to Tom. Tom's dad is referred as The Piper by his family and so, Tom is The Piper's son. The book is told in 2 different perspectives. One from Tom obviously and one from Georgie, Tom's aunt. Basically, it's telling the story of how Tom is pretty much 'messed up' 5 years later. Why? He stepped out of Tara Finke's life, he is living with his auntie, his family is torn apart, his drunk father is staying with him in his auntie's house, his favourite uncles just died and his love for music is also torn apart. The story is also told from Georgie's perspective and it tells her story of getting pregnant to a guy called Sam, her lover who also have children from his previous marriage. Georgie is also very sad because her brother had died (Tom's uncle) and her other brother, Dominic (Tom's father) is drunk and separated from his wife because Tom's mom did not want Dominic to come back unless he can stop drinking. Tom decided to stay with his dad when his mom and his sister moved away because he did not want his father to be alone. But one day, Dominic just went away and it made Tom really angry towards his dad. He struggled so hard in his life, and also his feelings for Tara Finke. Tara moved to Dili as Red Cross worker and he never finished his 'business' with her. Besides focusing on Thomas and Georgie's story, we can also read about Francesca and Will's strong relationship, Luca (Francesca's brother)'s crush on Tom's sister and also Tara Finke's feelings for Tom.  Tom keeps on emailing Tara in the book and Tara replies him in her very normal habit but we can see that she still loves Tom. The ending was great and I am glad that things are working out very well for Tom and Georgie by the end of the book.

I am very pleased with how Tom develops in this book. He was very annoying at the beginning but I love the way he finally begins to open himself to Francesca and friends, his feelings for Tara, his relationship with his dad and aunt. Georgie is also a wonderful character. I feel sad that she has to undergo all the stress with her family when she's pregnant and although Sam is a bit cold towards Georgie, I can feel his great love for her. Georgie is also very nice, she takes Tom any time in her house and also Dominic who is very troubled. I also enjoyed reading bits and pieces of how happy Francesca is with her relationship with Will and from this book, I found out that Will truly loves Francesca. If you have read Saving Francesca, then you would know that Will studied abroad and visits once in a while. When he was about to leave after visiting, he did not want Francesca to come and send him to the airport. When Tom and Luca asked him why (they were the ones who sent him to the airport), he told them that he was not afraid of Francesca crying so hard but he cried so hard and if Francesca was here with him, he would not be able to let her go. I was very touched with Will at this moment because a guy crying for a girl? Quite rare isn't it? Probably the last time I read a book with a guy crying for a girl is Adam from If I Stay by Gayle Forman. What I really love from this book is that it's very realistic. The story of Tom and Georgie can be found in anyone's lives. We all can experience what Tom and Georgie experienced in this book. It also pleases me that the problems happening in the story is pretty much solved and Tom's life is more meaningful than it was.

Overall: Brilliant. Realistic. Marchetta's book continues to amuse me. I have yet to read Looking for Alibrandi which was her first novel and has been made into a movie, and I have yet to read her fantasy novel: Finnikin of the Rock but after reading 3 of her books, I am very happy to say that she is my favourite Australian author. Her books are very beautifully written and very realistic while touching at the same time. Tom, you rock. You and Tara are inseparable. Your talent for music is just awesome. Francesca + Will, never ever break up. Your relationship can withstand any problems in this world. Never stop believing. Never give up.

5 Forget-me-not flowers for The Piper's Son!
Note: From now on, I will not number my book review like first, second, third, etc because it's going to be complicated for me. I'll just put #1, #2 instead!

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