Digital Artefact #5- ‘Looking for Alibrandi’ by Melina Marchetta

 

This is probably my last review for my digital artefact- however, I shall continue some more reviews here and there as I have plenty more ready to publish onto our Amazon account. Don’t forget to check out Grace’s site for her movie reviews- and I’ll catch you all next time!

-ThatGirlLauren

 

‘‘Looking for Alibrandi’ is an iconic novel of the ups and downs in the life of teenage Josephine Alibrandi- following her story as she: lives with her single mother, visits her grandmother after school and listens to her stories and discovers love with ‘bad boy’ Jacob Coote; all the while tossing up her developing relationship with her long lost father who has now decided to return to her life. (SPOILER ALERT)

So Josephine is in her final year at high school- where the real trials of life have just begun for her- it’s bad enough for Josephine that she’s living with her single mother who gave birth to her as a teenager and gets called a ‘wog’ by her peers because of her Italian background, but now her father has decided to enter her life. When having a picnic with family members, Josephine first sees her father and immediately feels resentment towards him for ditching her and her mother. Despite these initial feelings, Josephine comes around to her father when he backs her up after she gets into a fight with another schoolmate- her and her father hang around a lot more often and she even gets offered a job by him to get experience at his law firm. And more family secrets are exposed when she learns that her mother, too, is an illegitimate child as her grandmother had an affair with someone else. This places pressure on Josephine as she feels the weight of her family’s reputation coming undone.

On top of all this (and HSC preparation) Josephine learns more about life and love through her complex relationship with Jacob- they always get into arguments and always annoy each other, but remain together until the end of the novel when they end it once and for all. And … just to make things more complicated for Josephine, at the end of the novel, one of her best friends who was highly popular and looked up to by many commits suicide. Before he does so, he wrote Josephine a letter that expressed his deepest and darkest fears- expressing how he felt compelled to be what everyone wanted him to be.

 

Marchetta’s voice is honest and true as she explores the various complexities of the life of Josephine Alibrandi. Through the variety of complications and confusion that Josephine feels, we can see a resemblance to the entirety of life- written up in the span of no more than a year at most. Josephine is a real and honest character, who feels the weight of these problems and is not one to simply ignore them or see them as insignificant- to her, each situation has a personal impact on how she views her family, friends and most importantly herself. I loved how Marchetta explores different scenarios that can play out in an adolescents life all compacted within one individual.

Her writing is by far beautiful and detailed as she lives through the eyes of Josephine, a distinct connection between writer and character is clearly seen as Marchetta seems to incorporate her own personality and desires into the kind-hearted and confused character.

 

A wonderful coming of age novel to read.

-Lauren’

 

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