Melina Marchetta’s The Piper’s Son is an interesting book. It follows the same group of friends as her Saving Francesca, but it readers can pick up The Piper’s Son without reading Saving Francesca (I haven’t read it). It walks the line between YA and adult, and some readers will definitely feel it is more adult than YA. The story follows two members of the Finch-Mackee family- Tom and his aunt, Georgie.
I’ll let the flap cover do the summarizing:
homas Mackee wants oblivion. Wants to forget parents who leave and friends he used to care about and a string of one-night stands, and favourite uncles being blown to smithereens on their way to work on the other side of the world.
But when his flatmates turn him out of the house, Tom moves in with his single, pregnant aunt, Georgie. And starts working at the Union pub with his former friends. And winds up living with his grieving father again. And remembers how he abandoned Tara Finke two years ago, after his uncle’s death.
And in a year when everything’s broken, Tom realises that his family and friends need him to help put the pieces back together as much as he needs them.
Marchetta weaves two stories together, alternating POV between Georgie and Tom. From the outside, they seem to be very different, but over the course of the book it becomes clear that they are very similar, despite their age difference. I found myself drawn more to Georgie, even though I could not personally identify with her struggle. However, I it’s interesting to present teens with both a late-teens main character and a clearly adult character. I don’t see it done very often and I am interested to see how my readers feel about it.
Marchetta is a fantastic writer. She pulls you into the story word by word. Nothing happens quickly in The Piper’s Son, but that’s because it is not an action book. It’s a book about people and about relationships. It’s about picking up the pieces and trying to move on, even when it feels like you can’t. It’s about the ways we react to tragedy in our lives, and the ways we shut out the people who love us most. Marchetta is a gifted writer and I think The Piper’s Son will resonate with a lot of adult readers. It’s the perfect crossover book. Older teens will also gain a lot from reading her book.
*ARC courtesy of the publisher