Saving Francesca – Melina Marchetta
Melina Marchetta is one of my all time favorites. In some mysterious way she manages to write stories which, at a glance, sound mundane and ordinary but are far from it. They way she tells them turn them into magic. She writes invitingly and beautiful, and without really knowing how it happened I´m so deeply moved and involved with the characters and plots that I can´t stop reading. Maybe there is something special in the Australian waters? The book I´m writing about now is Saving Francesca which, coincidentally, is coming out in Swedish in a few weeks.
When thinking about all that the book is about it sounds tough; Francesca has just started a new school but none of her former friends go there. The school is a former boys school but has recently gone co-ed and Francesca is one of only 30 girls attending. The school is filled with conflicts; between the boys and the new girls and between different groups. To make matters worse for Francesca, her mother is ill. And not ill in a way that Francesca can understand. One morning her mother simply doesn´t get out of bed. She doesn´t talk or eat, she just lies in bed crying. The mother who was the families glue and strength is broken and, as a result, the family is broken as well.
It sounds tough and it is but this is only part of what the book is about. It´s also about friendship, sweet love, and self improvement written in a tender and sometimes funny way. And despite being only 243 pages long you reach the end feeling satisfaction and love for the characters and their stories.