Just finished reading Melina Marchetta's The Piper's Son.
Tom is falling apart.
He has crashed and burned.
When tragedy hits his family they collapse in on themselves. Now they're all orbiting around their problems, none of them dealing with them head on. Young Tom is on his own, and he's not doing well. He's abandoned friends, love, school, and family. Almost everyone has given up on him. Now he has to pick himself up, as well as save his parents, his Aunt, his ex, and his friendships.
But it's not looking so good.
I cannot recommend this book strongly enough. Seriously.
Writing the synopsis was so difficult, and it's hard to talk about it without giving things away. Tom is utterly heartbreaking as a character. He's stubborn, fierce, and vulnerable all at once. You want him to do the right thing, and he doesn't about 50% of the time. You are in anguish as you watch him mess up. Then you realize that his whole family is the same way.
I cried and cried over the last chapters. It was heartbreaking, uplifting, and riveting. So well written, such a beautiful story, such lovely characters. They pole vaulted off the page and into my heart.
Please. Read it.