The Piper's Son
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The Piper's Son

By Melina Marchetta

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Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Published In: United States, 08 March 2011
The award-winning author of Finnikin of the Rock and Jellicoe Road pens a raw, compelling novel about a family s hard-won healing on the other side of trauma. 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 mattered, including the girl he can t forget. Shooting for oblivion, he s hit rock bottom, forced to live with his single, pregnant aunt, work at the Union pub with his former friends, and reckon with his grieving, alcoholic father. Tom s in no shape to mend what s broken. But what if no one else is either? An unflinching look at family, forgiveness, and the fierce inner workings of love and friendship, The Piper s Son redefines what it means to go home again."

About the Author

Melina Marchetta is the acclaimed and multi-award-winning author of Finnikin of the Rock, an Aurealis Award winner; Jellicoe Road, a Michael L. Printz Award winner; Saving Francesca; and Looking for Alibrandi. She lives in Australia.


"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"

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.

EAN: 9780763647582
ISBN: 0763647586
Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
Dimensions: 22.86 x 15.49 x 3.3 centimeters (0.59 kg)
Age Range: 10-14 years
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Alexandra Torres on
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 characters were great as well. Oh, and I can't forget to mention the violinist (I kept expecting Me? to come up, but I guess that isn't his standard response anymore. haha), Heckle & Jeckle, and the Asian. I was fangirling every single time they were mentioned. Could not help myself. ;P

Like every time I finish a Melina Marchetta novel, I wish it didn't have to end. But I love that there's always hope in the end and that you just know it will all eventually work out for the characters. Seriously can't wait to read Marchetta's next book. Love them all!

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