Published by Candlewick Press on April 26th 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Family, Music
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.
Melina Marchetta once blew me away with her fantasy series, the Lumatere Chronicles. And her style hasn’t changed much, which I greatly appreciate because I loved those books.
There’s no other way to put it but to say her writing has a lot of heart. You can’t help but root for her flawed and super interesting characters. She has this knack for throwing a lot of people into her stories and really knowing how to make the most out of their interactions to show you how they are.
The Piper’s Son is no exception.
You don’t even notice how the broken boy gets un-broken
In most ‘redemption’ stories, in which the bad boy becomes a normal functioning member of society again you already know what’s going to happen, and more importantly, how it’s going to happen. You know each beat of the story.
This didn’t happen with this book. Everything happened so naturally that you don’t even notice when Tom begins to heal. There’s no one exact point which you can identify and say ‘Here, this is where he’s whole again.’
Friendship and family are Tom’s rocks
No matter how much of an asshole he’s at first to both his aunt and his friends, they don’t hesitate to call him on his bullshit (especially his friends), and are unrelentingly supportive throughout the whole thing. Tom’s family dynamics were so fascinating to read about because that’s what this book boils down to.
Tom is a family guy. He suffers because his family is fundamentally broken, when it didn’t use to be. But they’re still there, in spite of their pain, and it’s so beautiful.
You should read this book if
- You’ve enjoyed Melina Marchetta’s books before
- You’re a fan of family support for the win more so than romance
- You’re a fan of broken, but still lovable boys who care about things