Marchetta doesn't even need to tell you that it's paradise. (More) Oh. My. God.
I don’t say that to demean the impact of this book. To make it sound as if the result of my reading Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta is amusing. Initially, though, that’s all the reaction I could muster. And it was delayed, because I couldn’t really let loose until I’d finished, because I kept getting attacked by all these new devastating developments without much pause. A succession of blows plunged straight into the palace of feelings in my chest, shaking and loosening, leaving me wary of my reaction to the imminent crash.
This is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. From this distance everything is so bloody perfect that I don’t know how I’m supposed to explain to you why that is. It will change the way I breathe for the rest of my life. Maybe because there’s a boy so without hope he almost threw himself in front of a train but didn’t for the love of a girl almost as hopeless. Maybe because the boys and girls of this story are so full of life I’d be empty without them. Maybe because the story of their ancestors, five astonishingly interwoven souls, and the mystery of their abruptly broken friendship is the most devastating form of beauty written in a book. And maybe because I’ve never read about love, horror, depression, and change the way Melina Marchetta writes it in this book.
I thought I wasn’t going to understand Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. That I wouldn’t understand the way all the emotion is deliciously drizzled over every heart-rending moment. The prose is so thick with emotion and softly lyrical in a way that can almost cause confusion because it’s a beauty I’ve never seen before and had no precedent to guide me through. Marchetta helps you through, and before you know it you’re not just getting the words and the way they spiral into something bigger and more vibrant, but also the people her words shape and they slowly come into a brighter focus.
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta is about remembering love, where it came from, how it made you, and how to do it again for yourself and for others. It’s about a love so strong and so big and so continuous that it makes happiness and history, and without it there’s a madness that’s cutting. There’re are lives ruined, lives rebuilt, and some lives that are reborn. There’s a legacy that overflows with potency and makes my heart warm with the hope and purpose of it.
And by the end of it, there’s a wonder so pure and consuming, I don’t know how to anticipate it in anything else when I don’t feel like anyone else can make it the way Marchetta can (I’m usually optimistic). I’m in love with this book; I want to possess it, cuddle it, rock with it in my arms. Cait, Misty, and everyone else who said I’d love it: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta taught me what that means, where it comes from, how it might make or has made me, and how to do it for myself, a story, any and everything. So thanks. You were right.
I borrowed this from my local public library.