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Editor reviews

Teenage Francesca is having a tough time at her new high school, which has only recently started accepting girls, and things only get worse when her normally high-spirited mother has a depressive breakdown. Performer Rebecca Macauley does an excellent job capturing Francesca's struggles with just the right mix of plaintiveness and sass, and acclaimed Australian author Rebecca Macauley resists the temptation to tie everything up in a perfect bow. This is a well-written and immersive tale that provides a thoughtful meditation on themes of belonging, family, and identity.

Summary

Francesca is at the beginning of her second term in Year 11 at an all boy's school that has just started accepting girls. She still misses her old friends, and, to make things worse, her mother has had a breakdown and can barely move from her bed.

But Francesca had not counted on the fierce loyalty of her new friends, or falling in love, or finding that it's within her power to bring her family back together.

©2003 Melina Marchetta (P)2003 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

Critic reviews

"A rich exploration of maturation, identity, family, and friendship." ( The Bulletin)

What listeners say about Saving Francesca

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    5 out of 5 stars

Best Book I've "Read" All Year

What a fabulous and well-written story! I have discovered a wonderful new YA author.

Not just for teens, this story is funny, poignant and speaks deeply about the struggle of growing up with a depressed parent. I loved the true-to-life evocation of the teens, and the story-telling voice was spot-on. For anyone 13 and up, I would say.

(Great narrator, too!)

1 person found this helpful

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  • Trosado
  • 24-08-20

4.5 Stars!

I've been meaning to read this book since I read one of my all-time favorites by this author, Jellicoe Road, 5+ years ago. This was somewhat lighter than JR, but it was realistic YA/family fiction at it's best. The parents aren't caricatures and the teens aren't written as too mature or craftier than their elders. There was a bit of romance, but the story focused more on a family dealing with the depression of a parent through the eyes of the teen daughter and her blossoming friendships that helped carry the story to its optimistic ending.

The audio presentation was fabulous, as well.

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  • stanley
  • 11-02-19

An obsessive favorite

I've probably listened to this book once a year every year for the last 15 years.

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  • jackie lea
  • 25-03-17

An all-time favorite story, writer, and narrator.

The only book that competes with this one is its sequel, The Piper's Son. A true masterpiece, as with all Marchetta's works.

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  • Aimee
  • 06-02-16

Saving Francesca

Loved it! couldn't put it down. really relatible characters. I adored Francesca and her group of friends.

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  • Jenna
  • 30-12-14

Perfect

Any additional comments?

The emotional and authentic story of a teen girl dealing with her mother's depression - and her own issues - with lovely narration by Macauley.

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  • Katie B
  • 28-01-14

Great listen!

Where does Saving Francesca rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of my favorites. Great narrator, and a story that I thought I would like, but ended up loving.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I really liked a lot of the secondary characters. Tara, Justine, Jimmy, Tom.