For as long as Josephine Alibrandi can remember, it’s just been her, her mom, and her grandmother. Now it’s her final year at a wealthy Catholic high school. The nuns couldn’t be any stricter—but that doesn’t seem to stop all kinds of men from coming into her life.
Caught between the old-world values of her Italian grandmother, the nononsense wisdom of her mom, and the boys who continue to mystify her, Josephine is on the ride of her life. This will be the year she falls in love, the year she discovers the secrets of her family’s past—and the year she sets herself free.
Told with unmatched depth and humour, this novel—which swept the pool of Australian literary awards and became a major motion picture—is one to laugh through and cry with, to cherish and remember.
When I first cracked open the book and read the first couple of pages, I was already chuckling and smiling to myself. I loved the way the book began, it was funny and entertaining, and made a great first impression. I liked how it started; as it gives you an inside look on the main character, Josephine, through a quiz. However, she is interrupted by no less than an angry nun. Doesn’t that make for an interesting beginning? J
This book displayed so many emotions. It was funny, bubbly, passionate, cultural, a great coming of age story, heartfelt and overall just so good! I really enjoyed it, and think that Melina Marchetta did an excellent job on her debut. Just look at her now and all her books that have been published!
Melina Marchetta writes characters, that are both real and relatable, resulting in making a connection with the reader. Josie reminded me of Francesca, from Saving Francesca, as they are both strong, real characters. Not to mention Italian.
Whilst reading the book, Josie admits to being one of those pass-the-parcel hoggers. When I came across this I thought to myself, ‘Aren’t we all!’
‘Well, I was one of those “pass the parcel” hoggers. I used to hold on to the parcel for five seconds more in case the music stopped. The same for “musical chairs”. I’d stand in front of the chair and not move. I was banned from parties after that.’
This reminded me of exactly what I used to do. Shameful, I know. Luckily I wasn’t banned from parties!
Even though I’m not Italian, I am Portuguese and the European similarities rang true. Like the forbidden lounge and force feeding.