Marchetta is a master when it comes to crafting words, creating characters you will fall in-love with and immersingthe reader into worlds fullof soul you won’t want to leave, feeling a myriad of emotions along the way. Pure genius!
I had the honour of meeting Melina Marchetta last July in Sydney and listened to her speak about her writing, directing and the making of Jellicoe Road, which is currently in production.
So it is with great trepidation and respect that I attempt to review this book.
On the Jelliceo Road begins with a complex storyline; Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs - the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again. And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared.
Taylor's only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream of the boy in the tree, and finding her mother - who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road.
The plot is not only unique, but it’s clever and gripping. Bit by bit, pieces come together ensuring you don’t stop reading till the mystery is solved. With some unexpected turns, every word counts and every event is meaningful.
It is no wonder this book has won a host of awards.
Marchetta skilfully takes the reader on a journey spanning over twenty years, back and forth from present to past and back again and again, without question of who or what is happening. There is a beautiful balance of light and shade, joy and sadness, despair and hope, heartbreak and happiness, friendship and betrayal, life and death and everything in between.
The ending is superb, as each piece of the puzzle is solved and each link in the story is revealed. Without spoiling the ending, you’ll just have to read it for yourself. It will not disappoint.
With layers of intrigue, emotion and soul, On the Jellicoe Road is certain to delight, a classic to never tire of and sure to be read over and over again.
…And I can’t wait to see the movie!
Title: On the Jellico Road
Author: Melina Marchetta
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia, RRP $ 19.95
Publication Date: 28th August 2006
Format: Soft Cover
For ages: 14+
Type: Young Adult Fiction