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Marchetta, Melina: The Piper's Son.

A ** MARCHETTA, Melina The Piper's Son Viking, 2010 328pp $24.95 pbk ISBN 9780670074235 SCIS 1446788

In this, latest novel, fans of the author will find a brilliant story of personal search and struggle for identity. Following the characters from Saving Francesca, Marchetta focuses on issues facing another character in that story five years later.

Tom Mackee wants his world to go back to the way it was before he lost his favourite uncle to a London bombing, before his parents abandoned him and his friends left him with debts. However to repay the debt he undertakes to work at the Union pub while he is living with his newly pregnant aunt, Georgia. And when his errant father returns, Tom cannot forgive him for abandoning his family. While exchanging a series of text messages with his erstwhile love, Tara Finke, Tom relives how he abandoned her and how he would really like to replay that chapter in his life. With his friends at the Union, Tom begins to put his life back together.

Marchetta builds credible characters full of depth and hidden strengths, who battle to understand and find solutions to the situations that fate deals them. Parallels between past and present foibles and the mistakes of others are subtly drawn and it is only when the characters begin to understand the significance of past and distant events are they able to move on. Marchetta is a powerful writer who uses the Australian suburban background, almost a character in itself, to further build and strengthen both the story and the characters. A powerful story which cannot be ignored. Highly recommended.

A An outstanding book of its kind as recommended by the reviewer

** Book by an Australian author or illustrator

COPYRIGHT 2010 Children's Book Council of Australia
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Author:Finkelstein, Lee
Publication:Reading Time
Article Type:Book review
Date:May 1, 2010
Words:289
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