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The Place On Dalhousie - Melina Marchetta

The Place On Dalhousie

Paperback Available: 2nd April 2019
ISBN: 9780143793533
Number Of Pages: 288

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'You look the type to break your father's heart.'
'Yeah, but he broke mine first.'

When Rosie Gennaro first meets Jimmy Hailler, she has walked away from life in Sydney, leaving behind the place on Dalhousie that her father, Seb, painstakingly rebuilt for his family but never saw completed. Two years later, Rosie returns to the house and living there is Martha, whom Seb Gennaro married less than a year after the death of Rosie's mother. Martha is struggling to fulfil Seb's dream, while Rosie is coming to terms with new responsibilities. And so begins a stand-off between two women who refuse to move out of the home they both lay claim to.

As the battle lines are drawn, Jimmy Hailler re-enters Rosie's life. Having always watched other families from the perimeters, he's now grappling, heartbreakingly, with forming one of his own . . .

An unforgettable story about losing love and finding love; about the interconnectedness of lives and the true nature of belonging, from one of our most acclaimed writers.


Staff Review by Sarah McDuling

Whenever Melina Marchetta writes a new book, I know without doubt that I will love it. There is simply no question. I always, always adore her books. In fact, the only real question I face when holding a new Melina Marchetta book in my hands is how many times I will end up re-reading it? (The answer is usually multiple times - in some cases we’re talking re-reads into the double digits!)

I had high expectations going in to The Place on Dalhousie, yet, even though I fully expected to love it, somehow I was still surprised by how very much I adored it this wonderful, big-hearted book. It gave me everything I have come to expect from Melina Marchetta - an emotionally rich story full of deeply flawed and completely lovable characters, a plot that revolves in and around a complicated family history, and more than a few moments that were so utterly heartwarming/heartbreaking I had to stop reading to hug the book/blink away a few tears.

The Place on Dalhousie also gave me a lot of wonderful things I wasn't expecting, such as the return of some beloved characters from previous books. It was such a delight to see these characters again. However, although this book will reunite fans with some familiar faces, you can’t call The Place on Dalhousie a sequel. It stands alone as its own complete story, whether you’ve read Marchetta’s previous books or not. I won’t lie, though. As a super fan, I nearly screamed out loud when certain characters showed up!

There’s nothing quite like that moment in a Melina Marchetta book when all the threads of the story come together in a series of almost magical coincidences. Whether she is writing young adult fiction, adult fiction or fantasy, you will usually encounter a few unexpected connections and long buried secrets woven through the plotlines of Marchetta’s books. Some might call it a recurring theme of destiny and/or coincidence. Others might call it a very faint hint of magical realism. I prefer to call it perfect storytelling. Every time you come to the end of a Melina Marchetta book, there is a feeling of pitch-perfect rightness. It’s so absolutely flawless you almost want to applaud!

This is the story of two women broken down by grief and bitterness, both holding on tight to the past and both laying claim to the same house. I won’t go any further into the details of the plot because you can glean them from the blurb. Suffice to say The Place on Dalhousie is a book about family, loss, legacy, friendship, parenting, grief and healing (also there’s some stuff about cars, floods, Italian cooking and netball). But really the only thing you need to know is that it’s written by Melina Marchetta, ergo you are in very safe hands!

ISBN: 9780143793533
ISBN-10: 0143793535
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Available: 2nd April 2019
Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 15.4  x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.43
Edition Number: 1

Melina Marchetta

About the Author


Melina Marchetta's first novel, Looking for Alibrandi, swept the pool of literary awards for young adult fiction in 1993, winning the Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Award (Older Readers) among many others. In 2000 it was released as a major Australian film, winning an AFI award and an Independent Film Award for best screenplay as well as the NSW Premier's Literary Award and the Film Critics Circle of Australia Award.

Melina taught secondary school English and History for ten years, during which time she released her second novel, Saving Francesca, in 2003, followed by On the Jellicoe Road in 2006, and Finnikin of the Rock in 2008. Saving Francesca won the CBC Book of the Year Award for Older Readers. On the Jellicoe Road was also published in the US as Jellicoe Road, and it won the prestigious American Library Association's Michael L Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature in 2009. In 2008, Melina's first work of fantasy, Finnikin of the Rock, won the Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Novel and was shortlisted for the 2009 CBCA Award for Older Readers.

Melina's most recent novel, The Piper's Son, was published in 2010 and has been long-listed for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards. Melina's novels have been published in more than sixteen countries and twelve languages.

Melina lives in Sydney, where she writes full-time.

Visit Melina Marchetta's Booktopia Author Page