The Piper's Son

The Piper's Son

4.7 21
by Melina Marchetta, Michael Finney
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

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

See more details below

  • Checkmark Kids' Club Eligible  Shop Now

Overview

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 masterfully redefines what it means to go home again.

Editorial Reviews

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.)
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
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 - Audio
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
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

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781455899074
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
08/14/2012
Edition description:
Unabridged
Pages:
7
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.10(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

What People are saying about this

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

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >