Book Reviews, Literary News, and Thoughts on Life
Have you heard about the Melina Marchetta Madness week that the lovely Chachic of Chachic’s Book Nook is hosting running today through March 24?
No? Well I’m gonna educate ya.
Today’s post was a discussion of the novel that introduced us to Melina Marchetta’s work. As I shared over at Chachic’s blog, for me that was either Saving Francesca or Jellicoe Road, based on a suggestion by Leila of bookshelves of doom — whichever book she reviewed first (if I wasn’t so lazy I’d look it up). I remember loving Francesca’s sassiness and the way Ms. Marchetta so effortlessly laced humor into the more serious storylines of depression and figuring out just who you are and where you fit in.
The book that really stuck with me and sucked me into this wonderful world was Jellicoe Road. I was thankful that Leila mentioned that the first third of the book was going to be confusing as all get out, but it would be a totally rewarding read should we persevere through it. She, of course, was right. To this day, Jellicoe Road is the book I have reread the most number of times out of any book I’ve ever read. As soon as I finished reading it the first time, I badgered my mom into reading it, just so I could have someone with whom to discuss it. She thought it was just okay, which I knew even then was not the correct response to a book such as this one.
There’s just something so comforting about it that I can’t quite pin down, whether it’s the characters (*cough* Jonah Griggs *cough*), the boarding school setting with its crazy-fun territory wars, or the fact that Ms. Marchetta doesn’t hold her readers’ hands, but let’s us figure out just how those seemingly unrelated storylines fit together. It’s sheer perfection and it wasn’t topped for me until The Piper’s Son and Finnikin of the Rock and Froi of the Exiles were released, because, like another writer I know, Megan Whalen Turner, Ms. Marchetta gets better with every book she writes. Just don’t ask me to pick a favorite.
So which book was your first? And if you haven’t read anything by Melina Marchetta, what are you waiting for?