We went away for the weekend and I brought Melina Marchetta's Printz-winning book Jellicoe Road along with me. The author's from Australia which is where the novel is set, and that's two point in it's favor right there. And it won the Printz, so I knew it had to be good. But to be honest, the first lines really turned me off.
"My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die. I counted."
I thought, oh crap, I don't think I'm gonna like this. So it sat on my night stand for a week before we left, and when we went away, I grabbed it because if I didn't read it while on vacation, I would never read it at all.
I am so glad I brought it along! It was absolutely wonderful. Forget those first lines. This is a book about love and forgiveness and the redemptive power of friendship. And I realize that I just strung three clichés in a row and I hope you will forgive me for it.
Have I mentioned that I love this book?
I admire Marchetta because she trusts the reader enough to confuse the ever-living daylight out of us before things start to make sense. I won't even bother with a synopsis. I recommend you don't read the one on the book, either, as they did a terrible job explaining it and it won't clarify much anyway. Suffice to say, there are two streams of narratives flowing at the same time, they are tied to each other though they take place 22 years apart, and it all will make sense eventually so stick with it!
I don't want to give much away, but Marchetta's character development is awesome, (Taylor, Jonah, Raffaela, I love you all) The pacing's slow at first, but picks up speed and towards the end, I was glued to the pages. Forget the lovely sunset or the beckoning waters of the lake. I needed to know how it all turned out.
For those of you who already read it, were you as confused as I was in the beginning? If so, did you stick with it or put it down?