#LoveOzYA Throwback Thursday (#6)

Throwback Thursday  edition is our way of spreading the love of backlist Aussie books that you might have missed. We'll hopefully be posting a new book each week, and we'd love you to join us!

Nicole's pick

Title: Saving Francesca
Author: Melina Marchetta
Released: June 5th 2006
Publisher: Penguin Books
Add it to Goodreads
Francesca battles her mother, Mia, constantly over what's best for her. All Francesca wants is her old friends and her old school, but instead Mia sends her to St. Sebastian's, an all-boys' school that has just opened its doors to girls. Now Francesca's surrounded by hundreds of boys, with only a few other girls for company. All of them weirdos, or worse.

Then one day, Mia is too depressed to get out of bed. One day turns into months, and as her family begins to fall apart, Francesca realizes that without her mother's high spirits, she hardly knows who she is. But she doesn't yet realize that she's more like Mia than she thinks. With a little unlikely help from St. Sebastian's, she just might be able to save her family, her friends, and - especially- herself. 

why i chose it

I may be the very last person to have read this book, having only read it last year, but it's been around for more than 10 years and definitely qualifies as a Throwback Thursday title.

What Marchetta does so brilliantly is write about families and their every day lives in a way that is painfully real. Francesca not only has to settle into a new school and find new friends, she has to deal with growing apart from her old friends, negotiating a co-ed environment that is not girl-friendly, and deciding what she wants to do with her life. At the same time, her mother, the glue that holds her family together, is falling apart. Francesca feels helpless and angry and most of all, terrified that the same thing will happen to her. There are a lot of books which explore the complexities of mental illness, but few that look at the effects not just on the individual, but on their entire family.

Just in case I am not the last person to read this, and you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it.

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