Saving Francesca

Saving Francesca - Melina Marchetta I'm honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed and identified with this book. It took me a little while to come to terms with my thoughts on the overall book, but reflecting on it, I loved the character exchanges, interactions, and emotional resonance showcased in this novel, and that's perhaps what made the strongest impression on me. Francesca is a young woman who deals with the affect of her mother's depression on her and her family while adjusting to a predominantly boys school which doesn't make her life any easier to manage. When you're one of only a small group of girls in what was once an all-boys school, where the boys are...well, not that supportive of you, it's a difficult situation to cope with. Marchetta captures Francesca's uneasiness and her growing relationships in a captivating way.The view of Francesca's family also surprised me, because on one hand I saw the spiral that Francesca's mother was going through (though notably through Francesca's lens of the situation, so it was colored in that tint to an extent), while at the same time looking at how her family reacted to it. There was a fair share of grief, anger, confusion, among a wave of different emotions that felt palpable given the context. I was definitely surprised by the revelation behind what her mother was going through, and it yanked at my heartstrings."Saving Francesca" is marked with Marchetta's trademark humor and sensitivity, though I had a few qualms in the aftermath of reading it. I'll admit it didn't draw me in as much as "Jellicoe Road" if for the measure there were many characters I really liked, but didn't always get a chance to feel close to them, particularly among the larger supporting cast. I also think that the love story wasn't as fulfilling as I would've liked it to be, though it wasn't the centerpiece of the novel, just one part of it. Regardless, it's a story that I would no doubt read again, and I hold it in high regard. Overall score: 3.5/5