BY: Melina Marchetta
Protagonist: Taylor Markham
The last memories that Taylor Markham has of her mother are when she left her on jellicoe road 6 years ago. Now 17, Taylor faces many challenges from the only adult in her life, Hannah, disappearing, to tracking down her allusive mother. All which is done while leading those at her boarding school in the longstanding "territory wars" with the cadets and townies.
There is no one person who can truly be considered a protagonist in this story. This has to do mostly with the fact that the story line and the people are continuously changing, so a one person who may seem like an opposing character to the protagonist at one point in the story my end up being completely different than originally thought. So the greatest opposition to Taylor would be time. No one ever really has enough time, and though it may not be apparent until the end, Taylor's entire story is a race against time. Time to find her mother, time to find Hannah, and time to spend with the people who she has become close to.
~“But grief makes a monster out of us sometimes . . . and sometimes you say and do things to the people you love that you can't forgive yourself for.”
Although in the beginning the book many not seem very serious, throughout the story as the connections are made it does take on a serious tone. The lighthearted surface masks what is underneath; a griping story of a young girl trying to find her mother and in the process unraveling the story of the teens that came before them who are somehow connected to everything that goes on in the town. Just like the overall story, each person that's involved may seem very simple at first, but as the story goes on we discover many of their unfortunate pasts. Most of the characters are brought together through grief and tragedy. It takes on the difficult subject of people dealing with grief and how it effects and changes you, young people in particular. (theme)
I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a book to keep you on your toes. "Jellicoe Road" is filled with mystery but its lighthearted mask makes it an easy read. You don't really recognize the full meaning of the book until you have finished it, and all of the pieces have been set in place.