The Marvellous Melina Marchetta

Famously known for penning the massively successful hit Looking for Alibrandi in the early 1990s, Melina Marchetta’s subsequent books have been few and far between. Each release has maintained the same high level of quality displayed in her debut, with fantastic characters, witty dialogue and a strong emotional impact.

Saving Francesca (2003) was similar to Alibrandi in many ways – a strong Italian-Australian girl coping with normal issues like school and boy-trouble while at the same time having serious family dramas effecting her life. In Francesa the issue is her mother’s depression.

The Piper’s Son – a sort-of sequel – was released seven years later focusing on Thomas Mackee, a school friend of Francesca’s. With the characters now grown out of their teens and facing the life of young adults in their early twenties it has a decidedly more adult vibe….. Read my full review here

Marchetta’s most recent work has been the second installment of the fantasy series The Lumatere Chronicles. Even readers who think they don’t like fantasy should check them out as the characterisation is just as strong as in her previous work and both books have a strong action-adventure focus, making them real page-turners and impossible to put down. I literally stayed up all night to finish Froi of the Exiles and I can’t wait for the concluding installment which is due out later this year.