On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
My rating: 5 of 5 stars:
My father took one hundred and thirty two minutes to die.
‘It happened on the Jellicoe Road. The prettiest road I’d ever seen, where trees made breezy canopies like a tunnel to Shangri-La. We were going to the ocean, hundreds of kilometres away, because I wanted to see the ocean and my father said that it was about time the four of us made that journey. I remember asking, “What’s the difference between a trip and a journey?” and my father said, “Narnie, my love, when we get there, you’ll understand,” and that was the last thing he ever said.
‘We heard her almost straight away. In the other car, wedged into ours so deep that you couldn’t tell where one began and the other ended. She told us her name was Tate and then she squeezed through the glass and the steel and climbed over her own dead – just to be with Webb and me; to give us her hand so we could clutch it with all our might. And then a kid called Fitz came riding by on a stolen bike and saved our lives.
‘Someone asked us later, “Didn’t you wonder why no one came across you sooner?”
‘Did I wonder?
‘When you see your parents zipped up in black body bags on the Jellicoe Road like they’re some kind of garbage, don’t you know?
Not to be missed…whatever you do, keep reading. After a slow confusing start (a perfect mirror for the mind of our heroine, Taylor), this book takes you on an amazing journey.
Through friendship and death…“Is a person worth more because they have someone to grieve for them?”
Abandonment and loss…”One day when I was eleven, my mother drove me out here and while I was in the toilets at the 7-Eleven on the Jellicoe Road, she drove off and left me there. It becomes one of those defining moments in your life, when your mother does that.”
Through war and gut wrenching fear…suicide and drug addiction, the reader is drawn down a path by a story that grabs hold and doesn’t let go until all is known and the way is clear.
Twisty and beautiful…the best kind of book.
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