I had read Saving Francesca’s predecessor, The Piper’s Son, a year and a half before I read this book. I knew some of what ultimately happened to the characters and who ended up with whom. That did not ruin the book at all for me. I was instantly in love with it and had to stop myself from crying since I read it at work. That would have been embarrassing to have and explain why I was crying over a book.
Saving Francesca is a sad, touching and exceedingly moving book about a teenage girl, named Francesca, whose mother Mia does not get out of bed one morning.
This book reached close to home for me as I dealt with my own mother going through something remarkably similar to Mia. I also called her by her first name, I never grew out of that habit, as to distance my relationship towards her. The difference is while Francesca’s relatives gave advice ad nauseam about what was wrong with her Mother; no one blamed her for what was happening. I had to deal with criticisms for causing my mother to go through this by relatives who did not want to have to fix “it” themselves. I was painfully anticipating that confrontation that her mom would blame Francesca for her depression. She kept urging Francesca to live and take chances. I was quite worried because my own mother gave me several rants about letting life pass me by at that age. Thankfully, that did not happen. Her father was the one to avoid confronting Mia as he was worried it was his fault. Her coworkers did blame him because he was not on her intellectual level. Their father Robert's experiences are how people close to my mother looked on her children. As a dead weight dragging her down and "causing" the depression.
Francesca was rightfully frustrated with her dad. He did not want to talk to his children about what was happening, but it was not cruel.
For people unfamiliar with this situation, all I can say is, this book got it. It got how if you do not talk the feelings out they will fester and grow. It also expressed how just small things can get you through the day and when they can not.
I can’t say enough how much this book affected me. I wish it had been written when I was a teenager. I just wish I’d known about it back when it was released as I was going through quite a tough time with my mother. This book has a much sweeter relationship and deeper bond than my own. My own family are more like the Mackee’s.
Francesca's friends are hilarious. Even when she won't admit they are
her friends they were described with humour and warmth. Even when Tom is burping songs or Will is annoying her.
Each character is vivid and alive in these pages.
I am praying that Marchetta writes Jimmy his own novel. He needs one. What happened to him? I gather something pretty serious was troubling him from both this and The Piper’s Son.