The Piper's Son

( 22 )

Overview

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...

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The Piper's Son

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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
Publishers Weekly
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.)
VOYA - Dotsy Harland
Tom Mackee is furious at the world. After waking up in the hospital following a reckless night of partying, he is keeping his friends at arm's length. Since his beloved Uncle Joe was killed by a suicide bomber while on his way to work in London, Tom's parents have separated. Tom's dad, Joe's grieving brother, is a recovering alcoholic who is letting his family drift away. Tom is also fighting the deep feelings he has for his ex-girlfriend, Tara. Their relationship ended on a sour note, and now she is seeing someone else. This emotional novel, set in Australia, further explores the group of friends introduced by Marchetta in Saving Francesca (Knopf, 2004/VOYA October 2004). This time she focuses on Tom and his dysfunctional but loving family. Tom is deeply attached to his relatives and wants to protect them, but his own pain forces him to distance himself from those he loves. Gradually, however, Tom accepts the death of his uncle, comes to understand and forgive his father, wins Tara back, and opens up to his family and friends once more. Marchetta creates a poignant psychological portrayal of a close-knit family deeply affected by trauma. Though there is very little action and she depends a great deal on dialogue to move the plot along, readers will enjoy seeing Tom's character develop and mature, and they will be pleased by the outcome of his struggles. Older teens, particularly fans of Saving Francesca, will enjoy revisiting Tom and his circle of friends in this moving novel. Reviewer: Dotsy Harland
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Fans of Marchetta's Saving Francesca (Knopf, 2004) will enjoy revisiting the book's characters, now five years older. This time the focus is on Thomas Mackee, whose entire family is torn apart by grief when his uncle Joe is killed, the result of a terrorist bombing in a London subway. Tom's parents separate, he drops out of university, and hits rock bottom with booze, drugs, and one-night stands. His flatmates bail on him and he finds himself living with his unmarried, pregnant aunt, Georgie. Eventually they're joined by Tom's alcoholic, grieving dad. There's a plethora of family angst, including Grandpa's remains now returned from the Vietnam War and Georgie's boyfriend getting another woman pregnant. At times, the story plods and Tom is quite unlikable, but Marchetta uses smart dialogue, email messages, and a bit of humor to slowly draw readers into the complicated social dynamics. It's a joy to watch Tom reconnect with his friends, his music, his family, and Tara, the girl whose heart he broke.—Patricia N. McClune, Conestoga Valley High School, Lancaster, PA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763660628
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 8/14/2012
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 254,628
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 8.84 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet 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 Medal winner, Saving Francesca, and Looking for Alibrandi. She lives in Australia.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

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(17)

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(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    As always Marchetta has left me completely floored and truly enchanted.

    Thomas Finch Mackee is many things to many people. Musician, friend, and most recently complete jerk.

    Five years ago his world seemed certain. He was friends with the girls from school. He wanted to be something more to Tara Finke. He would follow his charming father anywhere--most people would, Dom has always been a pied piper. That was before London.

    That was before his family had to bury another empty coffin, this time for Tom's uncle lost in the London bombing.

    After London nothing is quite so sure. Tom's father is gone. His mother and sister are in another city. He's lost touch with his friends. Tom's life is falling apart.

    When Tom moves in with his pregnant aunt and finds a job working with the friends he abandoned he might also find a way back to himself. Everything is broken. But with a little time, and a lot of forgiveness, some of it can probably be fixed in The Piper's Son (2011) by Melina Marchetta.

    What a beautiful book. I've cried because books are funny, because they are sad, but this is the first time I ever felt teary at the end of the book because everything is so perfect and so beautiful.

    The Piper's Son is Marchetta's fifth book. It is also a sequel to Saving Francesca--a book that has a permanent place in my top five all time favorite books. Interestingly you can see hints of Marchetta's earlier works in this novel. You can see nods to Jellicoe Road in the snappy beginning*, Finnikin of the Rock in the things not overtly said, and of course nods to Saving Francesca (and even Looking for Alibrandi in terms of family dynamics). Much as I love Marchetta's earlier books, especially Saving Francesca, this one might surpass them all.

    Set five years after Saving Francesca this is an interesting book that is being marketed as Young Adult but where all of the characters are, technically, adults (Tom and his group are in their early twenties). The story also alternates between Tom's view and his aunt Georgie who is 42 and pregnant. The alternating voices work to flesh out the story and make sense of Tom's complex family. Their stories in tandem also work to highlight how much both characters change from the beginning of The Piper's Son to the end.

    Although The Piper's Son is a sequel you can almost read it before Saving Francesca** because Marchetta has so masterfully built in Tom and his friends' backstories into Tom's story has readers learn what happened between the two novels. Everyone reader's loved from Saving Francesca (Francesca and the girls and even Will Trombal) returns in this novel along with a lot of great new characters (Ned, Anabel). This book truly made me love Francesca and her group even more than I did before.

    As always Marchetta has left me completely floored and truly enchanted. The Piper's Son is a wonderful story that is both optimistic and utterly enthralling.

    *And in a certain violin player named Ben! Thanks to the inimitable Karyn Silverman for pointing out Ben's cameo to me!

    **Don't do this because part of the charm of Saving Francesca is meeting these characters for the first time. But if you feel you must ignore my advice, know that you could.

    Possible Pairings: Entwined by Heather Dixon, Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst, Stealing Henry by Carolyn MacCullough, Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2012

    so fun to be with francesca and friends again!

    If you loved Saving Francesca, you'll definitely want to re-enter her and her friends' world.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    So Amazing!!

    I am so sad that more people aren't reading Melina Marchetta. She is an amazing author and not one of her books has ever disapointed me. I love everyone of her books and when ever I found out she was doing a follow up to Saving Francesca I was so happy and excited to find out what happend to two of my favorite characters ever, Thomas and Tara. This book did not let me down, it went so far beyond my expectations. The characters are so amazingly real, i feel like I know them all so well. Marchetta's writing is so witty and and encompassing, from the very first line your hooked. I highly advise you read this book, however I will say that it might be better if your read saving francessca before because then you can make all these awesome connections. *Saving Francessca is probaly one of my least fav of Marchettas books, Its amazing just not as amazing as all her other books*

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2011

    Love it!

    Absolutely fabulous - I'm a Melina Marchetta fan-girl now.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing! Most read!!

    The Piper's Son
    By Melina Marchetta

    When Tom's uncle died his family fell apart. His dad became an alcoholic, his mom moved away taking his sister with her and Tom doesn't want anything to do with his closest friends or the girl he loves. One night while playing guitar at one of his gigs Tom had an accident that took him to the hospital. After he got out he discovers that his roommates kicked him out of their apartment, leaving him on the street with nowhere to go to except to his 42 year old pregnant aunt's house. After all this misfortune he decides to recover everything that he once had.



    The Piper's Son is the sequel to Saving Francesca and it takes place 5 years after. Is basically a standalone book but I assure you'll want to read Saving Francesca after you read The Piper's Son. This book made me want to cry and laugh in every chapter. It's such a contradiction that a book makes you laugh and cry at the same time but that's the way it is. The story is sad but the way the characters act is funny and is a perfect balance. The best part is that you know there's light at the end of the tunnel. The stuff that happens to Tom and his family is so sad that I felt their pain because is so realistic that is scary at times. The Mackee-Finch are a normal family, when something bad happens they cry and get mad but they will go on living by helping each other survive. This book makes you realize that before giving up always think that something wonderful might be 12 minutes away from happening.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2014

    Roleplay

    Is this a roleplay for the hunger games? If so, I want to play katniss.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2014

    Shaun to isabel

    U mad

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    Section 8

    Watson should say that

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2014

    Isabel

    So hey

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    Brady to all

    Hey anyone know any rp books? Barnes and nobles locked me out of every one i ever posted in.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2014

    Ssge

    Hey

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2014

    Julia

    Hey

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    Wow

    FFJFHJJFDSS,FFFJUDISDDKXSDDYHFRFJJUSDJJJVVYTBUFDJCNJBHTBVBFYUNCCSUNUNUNFNFDJIJIJIDCNURNVRJJDUNNWSINNDINNRUNRUVNVUNNDCJJRFFNFFJJNNGRJJGJJBJJBJTTNBJJFBNNFBJFBBJNBBJNFBJNBGJNFBJNFBJBBJJBNJJJNNJBFJBFJBGNJFJFRBRIKBNRJRFRNKKJFJKIRFBJIFBKFJKFFJRRJKRFBMRJIMRJKJKNVRFFJMKFRVVJNJFVFRVKKFKFKRJFJKRJKFKRJFFKRJKFJFKFFJFKFKJFGJFFJKGFBBJKFVBKGFKJJMFJFMKFJJMNVVNNVNNVNNVNVFFFBFFJJFDDJJVDNFKJFVFNJJFDKVFNVKFJJJFVFJJJHJFJHFNVJVJFJFFVJFNJNVNVVNVJJJFVDDDJJFFVFJJNFJJJJFFFFJJFVJFJKFFJJFJJNFJFJNJJFJJJJVFMIFFDJJVVIFJKVDJJ!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2013

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    Posted January 10, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2014

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