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The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta
The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta is the sequel to Saving Francesca, although you don’t really need to have read Saving Francesca to enjoy this book. The story focuses on Francesca’s friends, Tom Mackee who abandoned the circle of friends and his sort-of girlfriend Tara after his beloved Uncle Joe was killed by a suicide bomber in London. Unable to handle his grief, Tom fell in with new friends who party hard. After a particularly reckless night, Tom decides to leave his new friends, move in with his pregnant aunt, work on reconnecting with his old friends, sort out his deep feelings for Tara and reunite his parents who separated after Tom’s recovering alcoholic dad started drinking again to deal with his grief. This all sounds like the makings of a depressing novel, but Tom’s family is loving and realistic despite being slightly dysfunctional and you are really rooting for Tom through all of his struggles and I think you’ll be as pleased with the ending as I was!