The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta

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La famiglia di Tom Mackee si è disgregata: dopo la morte dello zio in un attentato su un treno londinese, il padre si è rifugiato nell’alcolismo, allontanando da sè moglie e figlia e abbandonando a sua volta Tom. L’altra sorella del padre, Georgie, deve ancora accettare la gravidanza dovuta al rapporto indefinito con l’ex compagno.

Tom da parte sua ha affrontato la situazione abbandonando la scuola e rifugiandosi nelle droghe, allontanando gli amici storici.

The Piper’s Son racconta quello che succede dopo: il ricomporre i cocci, l’affrontare le paure e il ricostruire una famiglia che sembrava persa così come le amicizie di un tempo. Il romanzo alterna i punti di vista di Tom e Georgie e risulta in una storia emozionante in cui la caratterizzazione dei personaggi e la loro evoluzione è ottimamente resa.

Mi è piaciuto molto e l’ho trovato molto ben scritto, l’unica difficoltà è, nella prima parte, capire relazioni tra i personaggi e ricostruire alcuni avvenimenti passati essenziali alla storia.

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Tom Mackee‘s family is broken: after his uncle died in an explosion on a London train, Tom’s father found comfort in booze, pushing away his wife and his daughter, and soon he abandoned Tom. The other sister of his father, Georgie, has instead to elaborate his brother’s death and her pregnancy due to her undefined relation with her ex.

On his side, Tom has faced the whole situation leaving school and making himself lost in drugs, and leaving behind his old friends.

The Piper’s Son tells what happens later: putting together everything, facing fears and reconstructing a family that seemed lost, as well as old friendships. The novel is told by the POV of Tom and Georgie, and is an emotional story where characters and their evolution is wonderfully described.

I liked reading it and I think it’s beautifully written, the only difficulty is, in the first part, understanding the relations between characters and reconstructing past events that are crucial to the story.

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The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta ★★★☆½

[ARC] Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

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La notte prima del matrimonio della figlia Lolly, la casa di June Reid va in fiamme e nell’incendio muoiono Lolly, il suo futuro marito Will, l’ex marito di June e l’attuale compagno Luke. E’ un evento drammatico che segna la vita di diverse persone, e in particolare quella di June, unica sopravvissuta che ha perso tutte le persone che amava.

La narrazione fornisce diversi punti di vista, alcuni dei quali ricorrenti, che contribuiscono a dare tridimensionalità alle persone coinvolte e a ricostruire gli eventi precedenti e successivi all’incendio.

Did You Ever Have a Family è un bellissimo romanzo in cui i personaggi prendono lentamente vita agli occhi del lettore, e che parla del dolore e del rimpianto e di come cercare di sopravviverne.

Ringrazio l’editore per avermi fornito la copia necessaria per stendere questa recensione.

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The night before June Reid daughter’s wedding, her house goes on fire and in the event June loses her daughter Lolly, her future son-in-law Will, her former husband and her current companion, Luke. It’s a dramatic event that affects the life of various people, but mainly June’s, who lost everyone she cared and loved.

The narration provides different points of view, some recurrent like June’s or Lydia’s, Luke mother, that help giving form to the characters involved and reconstructing the events before and after the fire.

Did You Ever Have a Family it’s a beautiful novel where characters slowly become alive in the eyes of the readers, and it talks about loss and regrets and how to survive them.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.

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Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg ★★★★

Si dà il caso che by Fumio Obata

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Yumiko vive a Londa, città in cui lavora e dove ha conosciuto il fidanzato Mark, è soddisfatta della sua carriera e di vivere in un contesto multiculturale e in movimento.

Una chiamata dal fratello la riporterà in Giappone, suo paese d’origine; il padre è morto durante una passeggiata in montagna e la famiglia si riunirà per le cerimonie funebri.

Yumiko inizia così un viaggio che la porterà indietro nei ricordi e alla riscoperta di quella parte di sè che appartiene alla sua cultura d’origine, momentaneamente accantonata con il trasferimento in Inghilterra.

E’ una storia sulla scoperta di se stessi – e per noi occidentali uno sguardo su una cultura profondamente diversa – ben realizzato anche dal punto di vista grafico.

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Yumiko lives in London, where she works and where she met her future husband Mark, and she is satisfied of her career and of living in a multicultural, always active environment.

A call by her brother will bring her back to Japan, her country of origin, because her father died during a hike in mountain and her family have to manage the death rituals.

Yumiko starts a travel that will bring her back her memories will make her discover the part of her that belongs to the Japanese culture, the one that Yumiko put aside during her life in England.

It’s a story about discovering oneself – and for us in the west a way to look at a different culture – well done also from the graphical point of view.

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Si dà il caso che by Fumio Obata ★★★★☆

Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin

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I recently read a nice novel – for the review see below – that I discovered being a retelling of a novel written by a most famous author.

About retelling I already said something: they are novels or stories that come from something already existing but are inserted in a different context, in this specific case the original story is contextualize in the modern age and the main character are a girl and a boy who want to become famous rock stars.

The original novel, if you are curious – that I did not read but I will soon – is Persuasion by Jane Austen.

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Picure Me Gone by Meg Rosoff

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Mila and her father, Gil, during Easter vacation, travel to America to look for Matthew, an old friend of Gil, disappeared some weeks before.

Mila, a quite but observing girl, wants to discover the reason behind the disappearance: why Matthew left behind his wife, his newborn son and a loving dog now suffering the loss?

I liked “Picture me gone”, the novel is completely based on Mila’s introspection and on her “reading” other people behavior; the POV is always her’s. Another extremely likeable aspect is Mila’s family, somewhat particular (Gil is a translator knowing different languages and Marieka – Mila’s mother – is a concert performer), but solid in its relationship; even far away – Marieka in the novel is a telephonic presence, being in Europe due to work – they are bound one to the other and this is clear also with respect of the other, more emotionally unstable, families within the novel (such as the one’s of Mila’s best friend or Matthew’s).

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* Picure Me Gone by Meg Rosoff ★★★☆☆ ½

*I read this book in English

Three (good) books about loss

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Losing a parent, a friend of someone we love is always hard and painful to accept: everybody has his own way to deal with the loss.
Keeping on reading you will find the reviews of three books (2 novels and a graphic novel) dealing this topic without being banal, every one of them with a particular narrative and expressive way.

The novels:
“Tell the wolves I’m home” di Carol Rifka Brunt
“A monster calls” di Patrick Ness

The graphic novel:
“I kill giants” by Joe Kelly

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