That’s right. I don’t care what you think you SHOULD be reading next spring. I don’t care what other new releases are hitting the shelves and what you think you would like to be reading. EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU will be reading two old novels to prepare the way for a brand new one. Get ready. First up …
Remember when young adult novels BLEW your MIND in very real and poignant ways? Remember when you fell so fully in love with the characters that you fought with your fandom friends over who got to swoon the hardest and which scene was the best? Remember when you cried over Francesca’s family and fell in love with Will Trombal?
It’s time to read (or re-read) Saving Francesca. Melina Marchetta is FULLY one of my favorite authors, and Saving Francesca is one of the reasons why. Private school politics and family realness and sweet romance.
Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastian’s, a boys’ school that pretends it’s coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an impossibly dorky accordion player. The boys are no better, from Thomas, who specializes in musical burping, to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can’t seem to stop thinking about.
Then there’s Francesca’s mother, who always thinks she knows what’s best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling of who she really is. Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and—hardest of all—herself.
A compelling story of romance, family, and friendship with humor and heart, perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Lauren Myracle.
No mystery, no paranormal activity, no fantasy. Just purely perfectly drawn characters going through real life. Important and unimportant life lessons. Falling in love and learning what love is when it’s the hardest. But best of all, Saving Francesca introduces us to an entire cast of characters that we need more of IMMEDIATELY. And thankfully, we get them. All of them. More of them. In the next book …
Marchetta blesses us with a library of riches. We don’t have to wonder what happens to Trombal and Tara and Thomas and Jimmy. And she makes us care about every last one of them in new and painful ways. This book belongs to Thomas and his aunt, Georgie.
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.’
I wish I could properly explain how it feels to finish this book. I was sad and happy and crying and content. How Marchetta weaves such a beautiful tale of family and friendship with such flawed characters in such messed up situations is beyond me. You root for Tom, you get exasperated with Tom, you wish Tom would man up, you want to hold him like a child. Georgie too. You want to slap her silly, hold her hand over coffee, hug her and shake sense into her. They are none of them perfect, but I think the book might be.
And what do you want more than anything when you finish a book like this one? You want Jimmy’s story. And what are we getting in March 2019?
The Place in Dalhousie
Years later, lives later, we pick up with Rosie, who has left Jimmy Hailer years in her past.
When Rosie Gennaro first meets Jimmy Hailler, she has walked away from life in Sydney, leaving behind the place on Dalhousie that her father, Seb, painstakingly rebuilt for his family but never saw completed. Two years later, Rosie returns to the house and living there is Martha, whom Seb Gennaro married less than a year after the death of Rosie’s mother. Martha is struggling to fulfil Seb’s dream, while Rosie is coming to terms with new responsibilities. And so begins a stand-off between two women who refuse to move out of the home they both lay claim to.
As the battle lines are drawn, Jimmy Hailler re-enters Rosie’s life. Having always watched other families from the perimeters, he’s now grappling, heartbreakingly, with forming one of his own . . .
An unforgettable story about losing love and finding love; about the interconnectedness of lives and the true nature of belonging, from one of our most acclaimed writers.
I’m not sure I can hold in how scared and excited and nervous I am to read this book. If Saving Francesca surprised me, The Piper’s Son absolutely devastated me in beautiful ways. And now it’s been years since I’ve read about Jimmy Hailer and known how desperately I wanted to read more from him. I would like to cram every last paragraph of The Pace in Dalhousie into my face right now.
So I don’t care what you plan to do this spring. But I will definitely be delving back into this Australian world that I barely understand in deference to the characters that I love so much. Because it’s time for Jimmy’s story, y’all, and that is better than anything.