"What she writes is always worth waiting for," says Viewpoint Magazine.
And you can always reread Saving Francesca while you wait.
Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham, now seventeen, is finally being confronted with her past. But as the reluctant leader of her boarding school dorm, there isn't a lot of time for introspection. And while Hannah, the closest adult Taylor has to family, has disappeared, Jonah Griggs is back in town, moody stares and all.
In this absorbing story by Melina Marchetta, nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to more questions as Taylor tries to work out the connection between her mother dumping her, Hannah finding her then and her sudden departure now, a mysterious stranger who once whispered something in her ear, a boy in her dreams, five kids who lived on Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago, and the maddening and magnetic Jonah Griggs, who knows her better than she thinks he does. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future.
I'm not a fan of experimental fiction. Just get on with the story, for heaven's sake, forget about chic workshop techniques ... first person present tense, alternating POVs, cryptic flashbacks, etc. Not usually my cup of tea. But Marchetta uses them all, and I'm in love.
It's not going to be a book that everyone likes. You have strong, vivid friends who grab your gut and don't let go, even when tragic things happen. Characters with history, as Taylor realizes. Those are the hardest kind to come by, but they're the only kind that knit themselves into readers' hearts.
You want a story that doesn't let you dive into another book, but keeps events and people circling in your head? A novel that demands rereading, because there's so much more you'll get from it the second time? Writing so strong, it never once occurs to you that the words were written? Then read Jellicoe Road.