Waiting on Wednesday: The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta

Waiting on Wednesday (WoW) is a weekly meme hosted by
My first and second WoW posts were about my guilty pleasure reading – romantic (often paranormal) paperback/mass market novels. My third WoW was my first YA mention, and today’s selection will be following that new trend:
by Melina Marchetta
9780763647582, $17.99, Candlewick, Pub. Date: March 2011 
Melina Marchetta is my favorite YA author. She’s Australian, a really big hit over there, and I recently gave a shout-out to her during last week’s Follow Friday blog post which asked, “Do you have an under-noticed author that you think we should all know about?” She’s (sadly) under-noticed in the States, despite having won the Printz award for Jellicoe Road. Her first epic fantasy novel, Finnikin of the Rock came out last year to starred reviews, and basically everything she’s ever written has been well-awarded in Australia, but somehow hasn’t quite hit the commercial jackpot in the U.S.
What I love, in particular, about her writing is that not only does Ms. Marchetta know how to tell a good story with action, suspense, comic relief, and love, she creates such depth of character and asks both her characters and her readers hard-to-answer coming-of-age questions, all while providing a thoroughly-imagined setting.
Though I’m also anxiously awaiting the next novel in the Finnikin of the Rock trilogy (to be published in the spring 2012), Candlewick will be publishing a new realistic fiction novel entitled The Piper’s Son in March 2011. A sequel, though five years later, to the characters in Saving Francesca, this title focuses on Thomas Mackee. While all of Ms. Marchetta’s books have had strong male characters that straddle the primary/secondary character line, I believe this is only her second book ever and her first realistic fiction novel to feature a male teenage protagonist. Here is what the publisher’s advanced description has to say:
“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.”
WoW for real.

4 thoughts on “Waiting on Wednesday: The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta

  1. Oh – lovely lovely pick 🙂 I've read this one and it really is just brilliant, although more adult fic than YA. Can't wait to hear what you think of it when you've read it! It has been out here for 9 months – but not long now until US has it :)x

  2. This is what's lovely about being a former children's bookseller – if you know enough of the right kind of people you can beg for an advanced copy. I just got one in the mail yesterday! Am about 30 pages in and am loving it already.

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