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The Piper's Son

By Melina Marchetta

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Format: Paperback, 336 pages
Published In: Australia, 01 March 2010
Melina Marchetta's new novel takes up the story of the group of friends from 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.

About the Author

Melina Marchetta is the author of Looking for Alibrandi, Saving Francesca, On the Jellicoe Road, and Finnikin of the Rock.


This tender sequel to Saving Francesca focuses on Francesca's friend, Thomas Finch Mackee, whose family is being torn apart by tragedy. Two years ago when Tom's young uncle was killed by a suicide bomber, Tom's father ("He was a drinker, Dom was. Always had been") lost control, causing his mother to leave town with his younger sister. Tom dropped out of his university-and abandoned his tight-knit circle of friends-while his aunt Georgie has yet to acknowledge that she is pregnant by her ex-partner. There is a lot of backstory, and readers may initially have trouble sorting out the pieces. But the story that unfolds through Tom and Georgie's alternating points of view is powerful and tragic, revealing a wonderful and realistically flawed family working hard to fix its deep damage. Marchetta masterfully demonstrates the depth of emotion-and love-the characters feel, sometimes in small but moving moments. The ending may wrap up somewhat neatly, but readers who make this intense journey with Tom and Georgie will feel they deserve the sweet resolutions. Ages 14-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Gr 9 Up-Melina Marchetta returns to her characters from Saving Francesca (Knopf, 2006) in this stand alone companion (Candlewick, 2010), only this time it's Tom Mackee and his family that need saving. Five years have slipped by and grief is slowly and successfully tearing apart the Mackee family. Two years earlier, Tom's uncle Joe was killed on his way to work by a terrorist's bomb. Tom's father, Dominic, always a heavy drinker, seeks solace from the bottle. Tom's mother decides to leave home with his younger sister for their safety, leaving Tom to care for Dom. Tom, too, seeks escape, and slides into the numbing world of a drug and alcohol induced haze until the day he hits rock bottom. Abandoned by his flatmates, he's homeless, with only his unwed, pregnant aunt Georgie willing to help. Tom is certain "the Mackees can't be put back together again. There are too many pieces missing." But can they? Yes, one piece at a time. Told in alternating views by Tom and Georgie, Marchetta spins a stunning tale about the consequences and joys of belonging to a family. It is a no-holds-barred look into the taunting demons of grief, betrayal, and bitterness and the restorative powers of love. Narrator Michael Finney offers a perfect blend of gruff swagger with the lilt of an Aussie accent to bring to life the eclectic cast of characters. A must-have.-Cheryl Preisendorfer, Twinsburg City Schools, OH (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

"Tom's aunt Georgie spoke to me first, and Tom found me through her. At the time, I didn't actually think Tom was a big enough character to carry a story. If it had to be anyone from Saving Francesca, I thought, it would be Will Trombal or Tara. But the line in Francesca, 'I want to be the first male in the Mackee family to reach 40 and still have a liver' stuck with me, and in the end, Tom has been one of the biggest surprises. I'm glad I didn't kick him out of my head."- Melina Marchetta -- Quote

EAN: 9780670074235
ISBN: 0670074233
Publisher: Viking Australia
Dimensions: 23 x 15.2 x 2.5 centimeters (0.37 kg)
Age Range: 10-14 years
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3 review(s)
All Reviews
Stella Rutherford on
Melina Marchetta is an amazing author of Young Adult fiction. Her books are gripping and heartfelt, with The Piper's Son proving no exception. Perfect for young adult readers, and equally enjoyable as an adult. Marchetta herself is a High School teacher, which is perhaps why she is so capable of writing to this audience. Her characters are very real and flawed, her stories touching and often a little heartbreaking. Highly highly recommended
Kendal O'Brien on
Oh, Mel...You can simulatneously break my heart and make me grin. I loved this story from the word go. Its a quiet look into the mundane lives of people. People and families and how much you can hurt the ones you love. Its about choices and what drives people. Its the perfect book to read before you graduate, because it gets you thinking that maybe the important things are the people around you now and not the things you see in your future. The Pipers Son makes you feel like your not really missing out on anything. I will read Melina Marchetta until she stops writting because her books make me feel like its OK to be painfully, boringly, normal.
Lucy Saker on
Melina Marchetta has penned another masterpiece! If you loved Saving Francesca, you will adore this book. It follows on the story of Thomas Mackee, a man in his young twenties who has issues in both his family and his love life. It follows several characters, most notably Tom, his pregnant aunt Georgie. Interestingly, as it follows on from Saving Francesca, you see Francesca from an outsiders light, and her relationship with Will Trombal. All in all, a fantastic read, tear jerking but laugh out loud funny. The only problem with Melina Marchettas writing is that the books don't last forever!

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