Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta – REVIEW

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
Release Date: May 9th, 2006
Random House, 243 pages
Sub-genre: Contemporary
Source: Bought for Kindle
Age Group: Young Adult

Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastian’s, a boys’ school that’s pretends it’s coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an impossibly dorky accordion player. The boys are no better, from Thomas, who specializes in musical burping, to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can’t seem to stop thinking about.

Then there’s Francesca’s mother, who always thinks she knows what’s best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling of who she really is. Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, hersocial life and—hardest of all—herself.

I loved this book. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

You know that feeling that you get when you have something savory, like say a chocolate chip cookie or a piece of chocolate cake, and you want to just enjoy it slowly and appreciate every little morsel and bask in that greatness as long as you can? Yeah, that’s what this book is like. I found myself reading the pages slowly and enjoying not only the story of Francesca and her (depressed) family but also the incredible writing style of Melina Marchetta.

This novel is about a girl whose mother, for some reason or another, has become depressed. It’s about how Francesca comes to deal with this in her life and how it affects her life and the lives of her entire family. There are lots of things that have changed in her life other than her mother’s depression – she now attends what used to be an all-male boarding school (and the boys aren’t too happy about the girls being there). And here is where we find something that every teenager goes through – and that is wanting to be accepted. Francesca often conformed to what her friends (and mother) told her that she should be instead of being her own person. And now in this new place, she doesn’t know who she is (especially without her mother telling her who to be). Throughout the novel though, Francesca finds her own voice (even if it is yelling at her father).

And the ending, well, it broke my heart.

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