The Place on Dalhousie
'You look the type to break your father’s heart.''Yeah, but he broke mine first.’When Rosie Gennaro first meets Jimmy Hailler, she has walked away from life in Sydney, leaving behind the place on Dalhousie that her father, Seb, painstakingly rebuilt for his family but never saw completed. Two years later, Rosie returns to the house and living there is Martha, whom Seb Gennaro married less than a year after the death of Rosie’s mother. Martha is struggling to fulfil Seb’s dream, while Rosie is coming to terms with new responsibilities. And so begins a stand-off between two women who refuse to move out of the home they both lay claim to.As the battle lines are drawn, Jimmy Hailler re-enters Rosie’s life. Having always watched other families from the perimeters, he’s now grappling, heartbreakingly, with forming one of his own . . .An unforgettable story about losing love and finding love; about the interconnectedness of lives and the true nature of belonging, from one of our most acclaimed writers.

The Place on Dalhousie Details

TitleThe Place on Dalhousie
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 2nd, 2019
PublisherViking
ISBN-139780143793533
Rating
GenreContemporary, Fiction, Adult

The Place on Dalhousie Review

  • شيماء ✨
    January 1, 1970
    This will be my first Melina Marchetta book so I don't know anything about Jimmy Hailler but it sounds like he's been through enough and deserves a break
  • Maggie
    January 1, 1970
    The journey that began in Year 11 at St. Sebastian's... That took us to East Timor and London with Anabel's brother...This was the final piece, the missing piece, Jimmy's piece. All I can say is, Thank you, Melina.
  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    you people knew about this A YEAR AGO???next time, drop me a line please!
  • Tatiana
    January 1, 1970
    Welcome back, Melina!Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil did nothing for me, but The Place on Dalhousie immediately got me to the emotional state I expect to be in reading a Marchetta book:So, a big THANK YOU!The Place on Dalhousie is a return to Marchetta's signature heart wrenching family drama a la The Piper's Son. Once again you get a novel about building a family and healing after the past tragedies. Jimmy Hailler is at the center of this story - it's about his coming home and finally making hi Welcome back, Melina!Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil did nothing for me, but The Place on Dalhousie immediately got me to the emotional state I expect to be in reading a Marchetta book:So, a big THANK YOU!The Place on Dalhousie is a return to Marchetta's signature heart wrenching family drama a la The Piper's Son. Once again you get a novel about building a family and healing after the past tragedies. Jimmy Hailler is at the center of this story - it's about his coming home and finally making his own home, something he's never had. But even more, it is about Rosie, the mother of his child, and Rosie's relationship with her (evil) stepmother, and a family house that they need to figure out how to divide. I probably have said this many times before, but nobody writes quite like Melina Marchetta - with so much empathy and heart. She doesn't just tell wonderful stories, she builds communities of wonderful people, people whom you all are guaranteed to love. And her dialog is simply THE BEST. Only her writing skill can keep me reading about the subjects I nowadays actively avoid (like cancer, babies, pregnancy, PPD) and come out of reading it cleansed by an obscene amount of tears. If you've never heard of Melina Marchetta (pity), start with Saving Francesca and, hopefully, join the club!I got my copy of The Place on Dalhousie on https://www.bookdepository.com/Place-...P.S. It will be only fair if we get a book about Shiobhan and Justine next.P.P.S. I keep reading about these wondrous things that people get to have in countries other than the US - long service leave (you are literally entitled to MONTHS of additional paid leave after you've been with a company for an extended period of 7+ years); family centers where you can stay for days if you have trouble coping with new motherhood. @[email protected] Is this real?
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  • ALPHAreader
    January 1, 1970
    ‘The Place on Dalhousie’ is the new contemporary fiction novel from Australian author Melina Marchetta. It can be read as a sequel-of-sorts, to where many of the characters within first appeared; in 'Saving Francesca' as teenagers in 2003, and then again in 2010 with 'The Piper’s Son' as young adults. But 'Dalhousie' can also be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone for newcomers to Marchetta’s writing. Avid readers though, will also be pleased to learn that two teasing shorts Melina wrote in the le ‘The Place on Dalhousie’ is the new contemporary fiction novel from Australian author Melina Marchetta. It can be read as a sequel-of-sorts, to where many of the characters within first appeared; in 'Saving Francesca' as teenagers in 2003, and then again in 2010 with 'The Piper’s Son' as young adults. But 'Dalhousie' can also be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone for newcomers to Marchetta’s writing. Avid readers though, will also be pleased to learn that two teasing shorts Melina wrote in the lead-up to this story being told, do appear within; ‘When Rosie Met Jim’ from Review of Australian Fiction, and ‘The Centre’ from the 'Just Between Us' anthology. But first – a bit of background on the momentousness of this release. Since 'Francesca' came out in 2003, one name has haunted and delighted devout fans of Melina Marchetta’s books – Jimmy Hailler. He was the weird boy that Francesca Spinelli’s disparate friends and broken family collected and gathered close during the events of that book. He is a character that Melina has spoken lovingly about at book events, as being inspired by the students she met during her teaching at an all-boys school. In the beginning of Saving Francesca there appeared to be something a bit “off” about Jimmy – like maybe he was just the bully, one to steer away from. But over the course of that story his decency shone through; he was still quirky and with a lonely broken family, but it became apparent that he was fiercely loyal and caring too. Jimmy’s absence from 2010 follow-up book 'The Piper’s Son' was deeply felt – not just by the characters, but the readers too – as it’s revealed after some loss and heartbreak again in his life, Jimmy had taken off to God knows where during the events of that book … in the interim after 'The Piper’s Son' and every time I attended a Melina event, or read an interview with her – the question of Jimmy would inevitably come up. Much like his friends Frankie, Tara, Tom, Justine, Siobhan and their collective families – readers were worried about him, and wanted to know if he was okay. More importantly – they wanted to know if Melina would ever write his story (which is the same thing, in a way.) Much as there’s always been something innately lonely about Jimmy, he struck me as a character who best thrived from contact and the collective – so it didn’t surprise me in the least, when I first learned that when she told it, Jimmy’s story wouldn’t be his alone … rather 'The Place on Dalhousie' is Jimmy’s story, and that of the girl that disaster and chance place into his life, as well as that girl’s stepmother whom she has a fraught relationship with. Jimmy seemed to shine brightest when he was surrounded, nurtured, and uplifted by the women in his life – Mia Spinelli, Frankie, Tara, Justine, and Siobhan – so it feels utterly right and natural that in 'Dalhousie' we get three points of view of not only Jimmy, but Rosie (the girl) and her stepmother (Martha) too. Jimmy and Rosie meet in a Queensland flood in 2010, and then have to reconnect 15-months later in Sydney, when Rosie moves back into her childhood home. The home that her father, Seb, built for her and her mother Loredana – who died of cancer when Rosie was 15, and before the house was finished. Seb married Martha 11 months after her mother died, and Rosie never forgave him – not really – and not even after he died just before she turned 18. What Jimmy walks into is a house divided – literally – and about to be finished for the first time since Seb conceived it. Rosie is living upstairs, Martha downstairs at Dalhousie Street, neither of them willing to give ground or back down – Martha wants to sell the place and split the money with Rosie, Rosie just wants Martha gone. And this is the fraught setting of the story – at the heart of a family. It’s a book of divisions; not just of the upstairs/downstairs nature of co-existing within the setting, but of divisions within themselves and who they want to be … which sometimes means leaving behind who they were. And that’s all I’ll say on the story. I started reading these books when I was 16 – the year 'Saving Francesca' came out. And then when 'The Piper’s Son' released, I was 23. I’m 31 this year, and I continue to be gratefully shocked at the timing of Marchetta’s release for these books and characters, who I’m glad seem to follow me to milestones as they live their fictional own. 'The Place on Dalhousie' slotted into my heart as easily as those first two books, and without giving too much away I’ll only say that … Jimmy’s okay. And that’s all I wanted from this story – but I got it, and so much more. Melina’s characters have started echoing for me, and I was so glad for those ripples in 'Dalhousie'. It’s not repetition, but foundation that I appreciate – this realisation that one has to come before the other for a story to begin. I felt that about 'Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil'; that read to me like a companion to 'The Piper's Son'. And it’s never more clear to me than in 'Dalhousie' – at the way Melina has written another fiercely complex and messy young woman in Rosie, who I think would get along smashingly with Taylor Markham from 'On The Jellicoe Road', Quintana of Charyn from 'The Lumatere Chronicles' and Violette Zidane from 'Tell the Truth'. I can think of no higher praise for Melina, than saying that she writes young female characters who don’t give a hoot if you like them or not – they’ve been through enough in their life, and trying to be “likeable” and “nice” is low on their list of priorities, and not nearly as important as learning to trust themselves and who to let into their complicated lives. Their flaws make these characters more interesting – not less likeable. Melina makes you work to really know these women, and to love them – but once you do, there’s no going back (as true for readers as other characters). I could say that Martha reminds me of Georgie from 'The Piper’s Son' – only because Melina continues to write women of a certain age who are otherwise forgotten in fiction (be it books, TV or film) – she continues to give them interesting high-stakes when society tells them they’re out of the game, and never more than in matters of the heart (Georgie and Sam from 'Piper’s' and Trevanion and Beatriss from 'Lumatere' are among my favourite romances of any book – but go back and read any Melina Marchetta novel and see how effortlessly she weaves interesting intergenerational stories for women of all ages.) I especially got goosebumps when Melina touches on this erasure of older women in the form of back-story for Rosie’s Sicilian grandmother, Eugenia. But actually, something of Martha reminds me of Frankie; in the way they are both the hub for their friends and family, maybe without always meaning to be. And Jimmy. I have long thought that Jimmy’s fictional familiar was Froi, from 'The Lumatere Chronicles' – and for so long I thought it was their tragedies that echoed for me. But something clicked with Dalhousie, and a line that Froi says in 'Quintana of Charyn,' when he tells another character; ‘One day,’ Froi said, clearing his voice of emotion, ‘I’ll introduce you to my queen and my king and my captain; and Lord August and Lady Abian, who have given me a home; and the Priestking and Perri and Tesadora and my friend Lucian; and then you’ll understand that I would never have met them if you hadn’t journeyed to Sarnak all those years ago, Arjuro. And if the gods were to give me a choice between living a better life, having not met them, or a wretched life with the slightest chance of crossing their path, then I'd pick the wretched life over and over again.’ Ah, that’s Jimmy. That’s his story; ‘And if the gods were to give me a choice between living a better life, having not met them, or a wretched life with the slightest chance of crossing their path, then I'd pick the wretched life over and over again.’He’s the character who’s had the toughest life of all his friends. He’s the one that we’ve all worried about the most, have waited for Melina to tell us that he’s okay. But that’s the thing – he would choose the wretched life over and over again, because it lead him here. To Rosie, and Martha. Back to his friends in Sydney (yes, all of them) coming together again like they did when they first started collecting each other in school. And that wretched life leads him to this house and a life, on Dalhousie. I thought I pitied Jimmy for the longest time, but here I see my true affection for him – for all these characters, really – lies in accepting the good with the bad. Their flaws and imperfections made them real to me, and I love them more for it. And I am going to miss them so terribly, if this book really is the end.But I do leave them here I think, somewhere in Leichhardt (or Stuttgart, London, a little town in Queensland, walking around Haberfield, about to board a train at Central…) being messy and carrying on their lives – making mistakes and seeing them through, being happy and sad but always together, even when they’re apart. These characters really do feel like friends, probably because they helped in introducing me to so many in real life (those of us who have grown up around Melina’s stories, and found each other because of them). My God I am going to miss them, but I cannot thank the universe enough that they crossed my path …
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  • TS
    January 1, 1970
    WHATTTTTTTTTQueen Marchetta is coming up with another book??? how did I not know about this??? how many of my organs do I need to give away to get my hands on this right now willing to negotiate @ me Marchetta let's talk
  • Jaclyn Crupi
    January 1, 1970
    I don’t know what I did to deserve a writer like Melina Marchetta in my lifetime. I work with books because of her (Looking for Alibrandi changed my life). What she does so well here is write people. Real, messy, contradictory, beautiful people and I laughed and cried my way through the perfect humanity of it all. She is too good for us.
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  • Sana
    January 1, 1970
    IT'S FINALLY RELEASED, IS THIS REAL LIFE?!!!!!!---------------IT HAS A SUNSET VIBES COVER NOW'You look the type to break your father's heart.''Yeah, but he broke mine first.' —WHO ALLOWED MARCHETTATHE WAIT FOR THE JIMMY BOOK IS VERY MUCH A SLOW-MOTION HEARTBREAK IN THE HISTORY OF HEARTBREAKS---------------The Place on Dalhousie, March 2019, goodbyeAlso, how Jimmy of Jimmy for not wanting to say I love you because he's afraid it'll come out sounding lameSource-----How cruel do you have to be to d IT'S FINALLY RELEASED, IS THIS REAL LIFE?!!!!!!---------------IT HAS A SUNSET VIBES COVER NOW'You look the type to break your father's heart.''Yeah, but he broke mine first.' —WHO ALLOWED MARCHETTATHE WAIT FOR THE JIMMY BOOK IS VERY MUCH A SLOW-MOTION HEARTBREAK IN THE HISTORY OF HEARTBREAKS---------------The Place on Dalhousie, March 2019, goodbyeAlso, how Jimmy of Jimmy for not wanting to say I love you because he's afraid it'll come out sounding lameSource-----How cruel do you have to be to drop THAT blurb and no release date?! WHY THIS
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  • Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
    January 1, 1970
    hear me out : Jimmy Hailer has a good day
  • Ari
    January 1, 1970
    Reading this book feels like going back home.(And I haven't been to my parents’ house since 2011, I think. I've seen them of course, they've visited, I just haven't been back to my hometown. I miss it. So I should know.)I am not sure new readers will appreciate this just as much as the old ones, no matter how they advertise it. The book is infused with so much nostalgia for the past books. There's this aching for the kids they were back then, for their innocence, there's this longing for each ot Reading this book feels like going back home.(And I haven't been to my parents’ house since 2011, I think. I've seen them of course, they've visited, I just haven't been back to my hometown. I miss it. So I should know.)I am not sure new readers will appreciate this just as much as the old ones, no matter how they advertise it. The book is infused with so much nostalgia for the past books. There's this aching for the kids they were back then, for their innocence, there's this longing for each other's presence after all those years, this happiness and this sense of belonging when they are not apart. Everything seems to come along nicely and ties from the past are being made through this last book.“And like always, Jimmy is amazed by the kindness of strangers. By the coincidences in life.”Oh, how lovely must it be for the readers who were teenagers when Francesca was published, if you come to think about it they grew up along these characters. Then again, I watched these characters grow too, I felt their anguish, their hopes, their hearts being broken, I've seen them fall in love and make a life for themselves, always one thought away from each other. They are part of me, like every favourite character in the bookish world.Melina Marchetta said there won't be that much about the old pack of characters, I think it was just her lowering our expectations, because they were part of the story in each and every way, more than in any other companion novel I've ever read (btw, they could finally give it a name as a series, as it dives way deeper into all 3 books for this to be considered a companion). And I absolutely loved that about it!And then there are the new characters... They are just as achingly imperfect and still perfect for the story, for this ending - with all the open doors.Everything I've ever written before about Marchetta and her books could be simply copied and pasted here as they always seem to stand. Melina Marchetta is - simply put - incredible! Her prose is stunning and incredibly touching, her words are raw and sincere and powerful. This story is about emotion, about flaws and second chances, about beautiful goose bumps inducing coincidences, about life and death and the messy parts in between.‘You feel lonely sometimes?’ Always, she wants to say. Worse is when she feels lonely in the company of others.It's not the first time she writes about parenthood, but she does it in such a sincere way, it's hard for her words not to hit home at times. Her advices went right to my heart, because I've been there (feeling too young, even though I wasn’t, too helpless, too unprepared, too lonely even), her observations regarding mothers and how they are seen by the others (and each others) are spot on. I loved Jimmy as a kid and I loved him even more as an adult. I loved that he wanted to be there and to be better for Rosie and Toto. I understood his struggles with balancing two worlds until inevitably they clashed together. He's been looking for home all that time, now he's finally there. (Btw, did anyone else get a Froi vibe from him from time to time?)Where Marchetta’s words take you, death follows closely from the shadows, and it's always intertwined with life and happiness and those tiny, beautiful coincidences that give hope even in the most dreadful of times. All her stories are puzzles to be discovered, and when the pieces fit together, when the connections are made, when the last remaining cell within your heart is crushed under the weight of her words, there's nothing you can do, other than falling breathlessly in love with everyone involved. I'll write some more about this beautiful book after I sleep on it for a while. But I (oh!) so loved it! It's painfully beautiful and I am so sad that it's already over and I'll have for wait for god-knows-how long for a new book from this AMAZING author. I'll never tire of praising her talent. Or her books. I always wonder, you know... how can she infuse her words with so much emotion? *sigh* NOTE:(view spoiler)[I'll forgive her for giving in to the cliché of pretty much everyone dying of breast cancer which: (view spoiler)[1. for me is a trigger and I always avoid books about this subject ; 2. these days breast cancer actually has high rate of survival (though you need to discover it sooner rather than later and to find a good hospital for treatment); 3. I wish people would stop assuming that breast cancer means death - in books, movies, etc. - it creates panic and anxiety when this world needs knowledge and hope; 4. I am not sure the author got some things quite right about this subject, things are a lot more complicated with more variables into place, but she meant well and awareness might always be good and only time will tell, so I'll leave it at that. (hide spoiler)], no worries, no character from the series dies from it during the book, it was just something nagging me. (hide spoiler)]PRE-READING THOUGHTS:April, 2019:I’ve been waiting for Jimmy’s story since he was a teenager, LOL! And still, what’s left of the waiting is killing me slowly! Gimme gimme gimme!!!2019: Is it April yet?! 2018:Didn't I just tell you that our dreams would come true and we will end up having Jimmy's book in our trembling hands? It was obvious how he wanted to be heard, how the author needed to give him a voice. Oh, Jimmy!Now let's just play the waiting game without losing our damn minds, because there is no date for the release and we've been all waiting for a long, long time.Btw, I have no idea why didn't I have this book on my to-read shelf, as I remember well doing a goofy happy dance when I found out all about it :D
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  • anna (readingpeaches)
    January 1, 1970
    jimmy hailler is a dad & also incidentally i am dead(can i already add this to my favourites shelf??? asking for a friend)
  • Arlene
    January 1, 1970
    Be still my heart... I loved this story so damn much!!! Not ready to let these characters go. It’s been over a day since I finished Dalhousie and I can’t let it go. This is what a book hangover feels like. I will give this a proper review when I get my thoughts straight. Love.love.love.
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  • Sass
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 12/5 stars. YES I SAID TWELVE
  • Veronica
    January 1, 1970
    The familiar, welcoming glow of a new Melina Marchetta novel. This one is a delight.
  • mich
    January 1, 1970
    Oh. My. God.Ok, it’s out now. So how do I buy it?????
  • Jaz
    January 1, 1970
    My gang. 8 years. MY GANGGGGGG. Marchetta always knows how to make me tear up. Lotsa tears in lotsa chapters and even more laughs. This took me back to 2006 when I first met Frankie and her friends. And now they’ve all grown to so much more. The mems, nostalgia, reminiscing. Family, friendship, love and new beginnings. Other than Frankie, Jimmy’s always been my fav so I’m happy we got his story. And heaps more too. I’m happy and sad and content and satisfied and a little bit heartbroken this is My gang. 8 years. MY GANGGGGGG. Marchetta always knows how to make me tear up. Lotsa tears in lotsa chapters and even more laughs. This took me back to 2006 when I first met Frankie and her friends. And now they’ve all grown to so much more. The mems, nostalgia, reminiscing. Family, friendship, love and new beginnings. Other than Frankie, Jimmy’s always been my fav so I’m happy we got his story. And heaps more too. I’m happy and sad and content and satisfied and a little bit heartbroken this is over. Loved the snippets of Sydney - Central platform 23, Chinatown/trams, inner west vibes, OATLEY GOT A MENTION, Jacksons on George (omg takes me back to my internship days), CQ... SAHHHH GOOD.
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  • c,
    January 1, 1970
    IM BAWLINGRep: lesbian side characters, Lebanese side character, side characters with anxiety
  • Fatma
    January 1, 1970
    HOLY SHIT THERES A FULL SYNOPSIS AND A COVER !!!!!! ITS HAPPENING YALL !! THIS IS NOT A DRILL !!!
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely loved it! 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐These characters will always be special to me, and this book was the perfect continuation of the story from Saving Francesca and The Piper's Son. Thank you Melina for giving us Jimmy's story and for introducing us to new characters as well. (view spoiler)[(Although this is Jimmy's book, all of the original gang make an appearance and I am so happy that they did!) (hide spoiler)] Rosie was such an awesome and gutsy character and I particularly enjoyed the storyli Absolutely loved it! 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️These characters will always be special to me, and this book was the perfect continuation of the story from Saving Francesca and The Piper's Son. Thank you Melina for giving us Jimmy's story and for introducing us to new characters as well. (view spoiler)[(Although this is Jimmy's book, all of the original gang make an appearance and I am so happy that they did!) (hide spoiler)] Rosie was such an awesome and gutsy character and I particularly enjoyed the storyline of her relationship with her stepmother Martha, who is a POV character along with Jimmy and Rosie.
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  • Cass Moriarty
    January 1, 1970
    Australian author Melina Marchetta may be best known for her seminal young adult novel Looking for Alibrandi, published in 1992, but she has published nine novels since then. Her most recent, The Place on Dalhousie (Penguin Random House Viking 2019), once again highlights her interest in exploring relationships, families and friendships but does so with a more mature cast of characters, and with the nuanced development that comes with a little age and experience. Marchetta’s common themes of bei Australian author Melina Marchetta may be best known for her seminal young adult novel Looking for Alibrandi, published in 1992, but she has published nine novels since then. Her most recent, The Place on Dalhousie (Penguin Random House Viking 2019), once again highlights her interest in exploring relationships, families and friendships but does so with a more mature cast of characters, and with the nuanced development that comes with a little age and experience. Marchetta’s common themes of being an outsider and also the slightly magical realism of extraordinary coincidences are also a feature of this novel, which is a moving story about what it takes to make a family, and what is needed to bind a family together. The story opens when spirited Rosie Gennaro meets Jimmy Hailler in the middle of a small, flood-drenched town in Queensland. Rosie has fled her life in Sydney, and her home (on Dalhousie Street) that her father built piece by painstaking piece over twenty years, but never saw completed. She is caring for the cantankerous elderly woman Ms Joy Fricker who refuses to evacuate her home and be put – even temporarily – into the local nursing home. Rosie meets Jimmy – or SES Jesus as she initially calls him – when he comes to their rescue. Jimmy is volunteering with the evacuation team. He is prohibited from returning to his home in Sydney for two years and has had his prized possession, his Monaro, stolen, a deeply disturbing omen for him, especially because the man who had sold him the car in Sydney had told him cryptically that it would help him ‘find his family’, and Jimmy has come north to do just that. Both Rosie and Jimmy are lost souls, unmoored and very much living isolated lives where they depend on only themselves. But within the first few pages, Rosie and Jimmy fall into a casual sexual liaison that is comforting, brief and without strings. Within two weeks, Rosie is gone and Jimmy is forgotten. The book then expands to introduce the third main character, Martha, married to Rosie’s father Seb (after Rosie’s mother died), but now herself a widow. Martha is rattling around in the home that Seb spent all those years building. Estranged from Rosie, and reaching a crossroads in her professional life, Martha is a strong and determined character who finds herself in an impossible position. And when feisty Rosie turns up at her door again, this time with a lot of baggage, the two women are locked into a battle – a fight for the house on Dalhousie Street and a clash of personalities between two women who are both searching for family but are each, for different reasons, frightened of how to find it. Each refuses to move out of the home and it becomes divided into Rosie’s domain upstairs and Martha’s space downstairs. And when Jimmy returns to Sydney and reunites with his group of close friends (all in their early twenties), and decides to find Rosie, things become rather more complicated. I read this as a stand-alone book, however fans of Marchetta will no doubt be delighted to discover that Jimmy and his friends are characters first introduced in her books Saving Francesca and The Piper’s Son. And the characterisation does have an easy and natural feel to it – these are friendships forged on childhood foundations, relationships that have grown and matured over time as the characters struggle to make their way into the adult world whilst maintaining the bonds of their youth. While it may be your introduction to these characters, the effortless and casual vibe between them feels cemented and secure, as if the author is writing about old friends (which of course, she is), old friends who have a history together. This examination of friendship is replicated in the ties between Martha and her girlfriends. Although they are twenty years older, and so in a different phase of their lives, that spark of connection is still there, perhaps made even stronger by experience, shared circumstances and crises overcome. The other similarity with Marchetta’s earlier works is the continued theme of outsiders versus insiders. The positions of migrants – even those that are now second or third generation – are written about with sensitivity and wit, but always with a clear-eyed view towards prejudice, the difficulties of leaving home and the complications of creating a new life in a different country. And the third similarity or theme that readers of Marchetta’s work will recognise is the inclusion of coincidence. In an almost (but not quite) use of magic realism, the characters in this story are united in ways they do not understand and which do not become clear to the reader until the conclusion of the story. These threads of connection are subtle and believable, beautifully-rendered and satisfying. Of course, we think, of course that happens – how could it have been otherwise? And why did we not see it earlier? These lovely coincidences scaffold the heart of the story and strengthen its themes of belonging and yearning. Rosie, Jimmy and Martha are each longing to find – or to create – their own family, or a sense of family, or to recapture the family they have lost, and they discover that family is not only who you are connected to by genetics, but those friends that you choose to be your family because of love. The lives of these characters are all wonderfully messy and flawed and yet Marchetta knits them together with compassion, optimism and hope. The Place on Dalhousie delves deeply into the angst of grief – how we cope (or how we don’t), the strange things grief compels us to do, the barrier grief erects against forming close relationships with others because of our fear of again getting hurt, our protection against further loss. But it also explores the possibility of second chances – of becoming stronger through adversity, of again opening ourselves up to love even though we know the risks. This is an easy-to-read story that emphasises the interconnectedness of lives and the many ways in which people can belong.
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  • Brandy Painter
    January 1, 1970
    Someone else is going to need to read this first and assure me it’s JUST about Jimmie and none of the others are mentioned. I’d love to get resolution to Jimmie’s story but I’m okay with the world I’ve built for the others in my head from where they were at the end of The Piper’s Son. I don’t want it tarnished. That may sound weird and unreasonable but it’s where I’m at right now.
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  • Hamilton Saliva
    January 1, 1970
    Melina Marchetta could write a book about a person watching another person watch paint dry and I'd happily read it.
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    icb this is really happening-
  • Mandy White
    January 1, 1970
    A lovely story by another great Australian writer. Something different for me but full of emotions. Friendship , family , love and life.
  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    Francesca and Jimmy have always been my favourites - I feel connected to them like no other book characters. So obviously I really felt Jimmy’s absence in The Piper's Son and was ecstatic when I found out about this book. And then I remembered the author is Melina Marchetta and she is definitely going to ruin me (again). And she has definitely exceeded expectations.I think this one is the most raw of Marchetta’s books. It’s emotional tenterhooks the whole time. The first time Jimmy holds his son Francesca and Jimmy have always been my favourites - I feel connected to them like no other book characters. So obviously I really felt Jimmy’s absence in The Piper's Son and was ecstatic when I found out about this book. And then I remembered the author is Melina Marchetta and she is definitely going to ruin me (again). And she has definitely exceeded expectations.I think this one is the most raw of Marchetta’s books. It’s emotional tenterhooks the whole time. The first time Jimmy holds his son is the most heartbreakingly beautiful moment I’ve ever read. And when the whole gang turns up, no questions asked, again and again and again - I couldn’t tell if I was crying or laughing more. I fell to pieces reading this book, and you will too; but you can trust Marchetta to put you back together. You’re in safe hands here.The book is peppered with simple yet poignant moments and exchanges, the kind Marchetta does so well. I’m so crazily invested in these characters - I just want them to be happy. I just want to know they all make it.
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  • Anum Shaharyar
    January 1, 1970
    FINALLY APRIL IS HERE. FINAAAAAAALLLLLY. ABSOLUTELY CANNOT WAIT TO READ THIS.
  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    This book!! All the love for it, and all the love for Melina Marchetta, she's an Australian treasure and I will hear nothing opposing ;-)This book is a beautiful, character driven book. Heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once. Full of humour and honest human characters, I loved it.For anyone who grew up reading Saving Francesca, this book will hit you in a whole other way (making me feel both nostalgic and old, in a good way) but you don't have to have read Saving Francesca to love this book This book!! All the love for it, and all the love for Melina Marchetta, she's an Australian treasure and I will hear nothing opposing ;-)This book is a beautiful, character driven book. Heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once. Full of humour and honest human characters, I loved it.For anyone who grew up reading Saving Francesca, this book will hit you in a whole other way (making me feel both nostalgic and old, in a good way) but you don't have to have read Saving Francesca to love this book and its characters.Watch out everyone in my life, this is the next book I will continue to recommend to you when you say "what book do you think I should read?"
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  • Murray
    January 1, 1970
    Finally out, but the price is crushing my impatient bookworm soul. Melina Marchetta, have mercy on us!
  • Lulu Ali
    January 1, 1970
    ALSO
  • Myriam Navalian
    January 1, 1970
    CAN'T. WAIT.
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