Reading for a Lifetime Together

An Unknown Past, a Crumbling Present, and a Hopeful Future
November 24, 2009, 12:30 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

               Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta contained so many intertwining subplots I had to finish the book before I fully understood all that occurred. The main story line develops from the time that the year-twelves graduate. Taylor becomes appointed to lead the Jellicoes in the yearly territory wars against the Townies and the Cadets. The first meeting among the leaders ends in catastrophe when the Taylor recognizes the Cadet as a friend who betrayed her many years ago. Added to this, Taylor’s second in command turns out to be a close family friend of the Townie leader. After several traumatic incidents, the leaders of the three “gangs” form a sort of friendship.

                The first major subplot develops when Taylor’s guardian, Hannah, disappears without telling Taylor. As Taylor tries to figure out where her friend went, she comes across a novel Hannah wrote. In this novel, five close friends, four orphans and one Cadet, face life head on full of dreams and enthusiasm. Trial after trial, these resilient friends remain optimistic of their futures and chance love. Also intermittent with the five friends’ trials comes the history of the territory wars.

                Another subplot introduces itself through Taylor’s dreams. A young boy sits in a tree and Taylor tells him everything. The boy listens, advises, and comforts, but never reveals anything about himself. This brings in the traumatic death of the Hobo. Long before Taylor entered Jellicoe High, she befriended the Hobo. After a long conversation one day, the Hobo asks for forgiveness before committing suicide.

                All these seemingly unconnected plots develop separately before slowly beginning to come together. At the very end all the stories connect seamlessly in on of the best endings I have ever read. A few moments of confusion arose because of the books setting in Australia. The easy to relate to characters tend to make the reader connect them to the reader’s familiar background. This book combines adventure, lessons usually learned after life-altering mistakes, love, and friendship in an exciting, heart-wrenching novel. I would recommend this book to anyone in high school.



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