le plus loin le plus serré

le plus loin le plus serré
mourning art

in memoriam

"yet I tell you, from the sad knowledge of my older experience, that to every one of you a day will most likely come when sunshine, hope, presents and pleasure will be worth nothing to you in comparison with the unattainable gift of your mother's kiss." (Christina Rossetti, "Speaking Likenesses," 1873)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jellicoe Road

or - where have I been for the last couple of years, that word of its greatness somehow passed me by?

I read it - the entire book - today. I should not have devoted the whole day to it, but that's what books will do to me, especially good books.

And Jellicoe Road is an amazing book. I cried. Repeatedly. What an absolutely gorgeous and unexpected story....the intersecting and bisecting and intertwining stories and characters are so wonderfully, vividly crafted. I really did not know, for the first 50 or 75 pages, where this book was going; the shifts in tone and plot happened so naturally and subtly that I don't even know when it crossed over into emotionally gripping and mysterious - all I know is, at some point I couldn't put the book down. When I tried to, the characters swarmed my brain; I could see them even when I closed my eyes.

I don't think I have anything profound to say about this book, not yet anyway, just that it took my breath away (almost literally). Having read Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca within the last ten days, and then coming to Jellicoe Road, I was simply not prepared for the depth and complexity of the story and emotions of it. Which is not to say that Marchetta's other books are shallow - they aren't. But their themes and concerns are, in some ways, very different from those in Jellicoe.

I will give Jellicoe Road the absolute highest recommendation I possibly can give. And I will have to acquire it for my very own, read it again, and think think think about it.


Adele said...

Welcome to the fan club. Members for life :)

kim said...

i just finished this and i was crying by the end. i'm actually having a hard time keeping the tears away. this was a lovely book! her writing is heady at times in the way that i love. the characters seem like real people and not these book-y teen characters. the pain and horror that happen throughout and the beauty and happiness that make it all bearable...this was a stunner!