Taylor Lily Markham was abandoned by her mother at a 7-11 outlet six years ago. She was found by a young woman named Hannah who then becomes her guardian. Taylor has little memory of her father.
Now at the age of 17, Taylor is a house leader in her boarding house at Jellicoe School on Jellicoe Road. She is also in charge of all the boarders in the territory wars with the Townies (kids from town) and Cadets who are Sydney boys who come to Jellicoe for training. The leader of the Cadets also happens to be Jonah Griggs, who Taylor ran away with a few years ago to go search for her mother. However, the attempt was not successful and Taylor never wanted to see Jonah again.
Now, not only does she have to face Jonah after all these years, Taylor has to stand up to other house leaders who are unhappy with her leadership in the wars. To top it all off, Hannah disappears without an explanation and Taylor can only look for clues in some of Hannah’s manuscripts that tell a story about five kids.
I was lost when reading the first few chapters of Jellicoe Road. There was the boy in the tree in Taylor’s dreams, the Hermit and then in came the five kids named Webb, Narnie, Tate, Jude and Fitz from Hannah’s manuscripts which ran as a parallel story. I went like, ‘Who are all these people???’
There were so many names that I could not keep track of who was who and what were their roles in the story. I almost gave up after a few chapters but I kept on reading as I’ve come across many reviews that praised this book to the skies. I loved Marchetta’s Looking For Alibrandi so I felt that there should be something mind-blowing in this book as well. True enough, there was.
I was not disappointed. If you feel like quitting the story halfway, I suggest that you don’t but to continue reading. Whatever that you did not understand in the earlier part of the book will all be answered in the coming chapters. After that, you will want to keep on reading till the end! That’s how it was for me. When I finished the story, I went back to the first chapter and read it again, with a better understanding the second time around.
In a nutshell, the story is mainly about Taylor trying to find her own identity, to know why her mother left her as well as to understand her relationships with Hannah and Jonah.
It is not all depressing though as there are a few funny parts that you will laugh at. I tell you, this is one book that I will be thinking about for a while. I’m also definitely going to get my hands on a copy of another book by Marchetta! Maybe either Saving Francesca or Finnikin of the Rock or her latest one, The Piper’s Son!