I loved this book. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
You know that feeling that you get when you have something savory, like say a chocolate chip cookie or a piece of chocolate cake, and you want to just enjoy it slowly and appreciate every little morsel and bask in that greatness as long as you can? Yeah, that's what this book is like. I found myself reading the pages slowly and enjoying not only the story of Francesca and her (depressed) family but also the incredible writing style of Melina Marchetta.
This novel is about a girl whose mother, for some reason or another, has become depressed. It's about how Francesca comes to deal with this in her life and how it affects her life and the lives of her entire family. There are lots of things that have changed in her life other than her mother's depression - she now attends what used to be an all-male boarding school (and the boys aren't too happy about the girls being there). And here is where we find something that every teenager goes through - and that is wanting to be accepted. Francesca often conformed to what her friends (and mother) told her that she should be instead of being her own person. And now in this new place, she doesn't know who she is (especially without her mother telling her who to be). Throughout the novel though, Francesca finds her own voice (even if it is yelling at her father).
And the ending, well, it broke my heart.