March 2, 2019

The Piper's Son: A Rambling Review

The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta

I liked really getting to know Tom well in this book, but overall I didn't enjoy it as much as Saving Francesca. It felt darker and heavier than that first book. The story just sort of meanders, lacking momentum/drive, and though I felt like it was slowly building up to something, the actual climactic scene (if you could call it that) felt underwhelming and unsatisfying. Also, Tom takes a long time to learn anything, so it ends up feeling kinda repetitive as he has the same sorts of inner monologues over and over again as he tries to figure things out. The characterization is a strong point -- Tom is most certainly a flawed character, but sympathetic and redeemable. You have to feel for him, while at the same time wishing he made different choices. 

I do wish we had gotten to see more of what the other characters from Saving Francesca are dealing with. We get little glimpses, but because it's from Tom's and Georgie's perspectives, we don't really get to know the whole of what's going on with the others. I also didn't feel like Georgie's perspective added that much; I wasn't as interested in her storyline and partway through I began looking forward to the next Tom chapter instead. I think perhaps we didn't need quite as many characters in here either; I know that family is a very important aspect of this novel, but I had some trouble remembering who was who. 

Marchetta depicts friendships and relationships incredibly well, and that is on display here. I find it fascinating how quickly and easily Tom makes friends, even with those people he took a disliking to at first (like Ned). He rebuffs people just as easily, unfortunately, but nevertheless it's clear he keeps searching for connection with others. It's interesting, too, that Marchetta tackles the issue of repairing and rebuilding friendships that have faded; it's a subject that isn't all that front-and-centre in a lot of novels, and yet it's a subject that many people face at some point in their lives.

3 shooting stars.


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