Jellicoe Road - Ayesha

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Disclaimer: This review first appeared on Ayesha's GR profile. Click here

My rating: 5/5 stars

“My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die.

I counted.

It happened on the Jellicoe Road. The prettiest road I'd ever seen, where trees made breezy canopies like a tunnel to Shangri-La. We were going to the ocean, hundreds of miles away, because I wanted to see the ocean and my father said that it was about time the four of us made that journey. I remember asking, 'What’s the difference between a trip and a journey?' and my father said, 'Narnie, my love, when we get there, you’ll understand,' and that was the last thing he ever said.” 

5++++ stars because this brilliant novel deserves them!

Do you want to get lost in the world of summer, trees, sunrise, sunset, friendship, love, memories, nostalgia which is constructed by lyrical writing, raw emotions and masterfully forged mystery? 

Then you should definitely read Jellicoe Road without further ado.

I lived in this book. I fell for its characters. I fell in love with their friendship and story. I laughed with them. I cried with them and I died a little every time with them. I loved this book and it’s going to be forever etched it my heart. 

Five stars and more are for books like this. I don’t give special place to every book in my shelf right away. I don’t give any book five stars like candy. Books like Jellicoe Road show me a very different world, emotionally connect me to the characters, make me wonder about life, happiness, grief and in the end, teaches me something beautiful and devastating. 

This book first starts with a prologue of worlds colliding at Jellicoe Road which slowly grows into a powerful friendship. The story shifts between past, present and dreams. Initially, the plot may be confusing and you may not be sure where it takes you but as you continue, you’ll see the story masterfully unravelling in front of your eyes. The constant shifting of present and the story from the past kept me intrigued and I couldn’t stop turning pages fast enough. The past has a beautiful story about 5 best friends; Webb, Narnie, Jude, Fitz and the tragedy that befalls them. 

“And then their voices stopped and their souls stood still and they ceased being who they had been. Because who they were had always been determined by him.”

In the present, we have Taylor Markham, 17, Jellicoe School student and reluctant leader of the territory wars that take place between Jellicoe School, Cadets from a school in Sydney and teens from the town. Taylor was abandoned at the age of 11 by her mother on Jellicoe road and rescued by Hannah, one of the House guardians of Jellicoe School. Past and present are inextricable and to understand her present better, Taylor is curious to know about her past and her search leads her to the tragic story of 5 best friends from the 80’s.

“These people have history and I crave history. I crave someone knowing me so well that they can tell what I'm thinking.”

Every character in this book is created with so much emotions and depth to the point that they feel real. They have strengths, they have flaws, they have grief, they have happiness but all in all, they are bound by love. The plot is intricately designed, the writing is lyrical and the story is powerfully told. Even after re-reading this book several times, I've never got exhausted by this story.

To put it simply, Jellicoe Road is a uniquely written masterpiece. It’s my all-time favourite book along with The Book ThiefEveryone should read it with lots and lots of tissues and chocolates in handy. 

“And life goes on, which seems kind of strange and cruel when you're watching someone die.”

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