Sunday, November 1, 2020

Book Review: The Place on Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta

Book Review: The Place on Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta
The Place on Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta

Published: April 2, 2019

Genre: Fiction

Pages: 288

Synopsis: "You look the type to break your father’s heart.''
"Yeah, but he broke mine first."

When Rosie Gennaro first meets Jimmy Hailler, she has walked away from life in Sydney, leaving behind the place on Dalhousie that her father, Seb, painstakingly rebuilt for his family but never saw completed. Two years later, Rosie returns to the house and living there is Martha, whom Seb Gennaro married less than a year after the death of Rosie’s mother. Martha is struggling to fulfill Seb’s dream, while Rosie is coming to terms with new responsibilities. And so begins a stand-off between two women who refuse to move out of the home they both lay claim to.

As the battle lines are drawn, Jimmy Hailler re-enters Rosie’s life. Having always watched other families from the perimeters, he’s now grappling, heartbreakingly, with forming one of his own . . .

An unforgettable story about losing love and finding love; about the interconnectedness of lives and the true nature of belonging.

Thoughts: I'm a big fan of Melina Marchetta's books, at least all of the ones I have read so far, which is about seven now. What's great about her is that she doesn't let herself be pigeonholed into one genre. Yes, she has a fantasy series, and yes she's written a thriller mystery. Here, she's getting back to what she started out with, which is more of a focus on a family, or how a group of people end up becoming a family. And am I fan of this one as well? Yep. 

The Place on Dalhousie focuses on three different main characters - Rosie, Martha, and Jimmy. Though it's told in third person, each chapter is specifically from one point of view. While often in these books, I tend to be looking forward to certain characters' chapters over others, that rarely happened here. Each of our three leads has a story to tell, and somewhere to grow. Though I wouldn't say they necessarily have clear-cut goals of "I must do this," they do have wants and needs that are explored throughout, and that was enough to keep the story moving toward a satisfying conclusion.

The book is a quick read, and if you're not feeling emotional by the end when certain revelations come about, then I don't know what to say.  But wait.... 

I've just now read that it's a sequel of sorts to two of Marchetta's other books, Saving Francesca, and The Piper's Son. I absolutely loved The Piper's Son, and Saving Francesca has been on my list for a while now, so apparently I'm going to have to read that post haste. If I had known, I probably would have liked it even more with the glimpses into these other character's lives I'd already met throughout. And I would have been able to get ahold of the other characters much quicker as well having already been familiar with them. What a dummy. You're supposed to read them in the order of Francesca, then Piper's, then this one. Well. I guess that goes to show that you definitely don't have to have read any of the previous books to enjoy each one of these!

Rating: 4/5

Buy on Amazon 

What I'm Reading Next: Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

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