REVIEW: "On The Jellicoe Road", by Melina Marchetta

Format: Audiobook 
Runtime: 8 hours and 53 minutes
Narrated by: Rebecca Macauley
Published by: Penguin Australia
Release Date: First published September 1st 2006

Taken from Amazon

Taylor Markham is now a senior at the Jellicoe School, and has been made leader of the boarders. She is responsible for keeping the upper hand in the territory wars with the townies, and the cadets who camp on the edge of the school's property over summer. She has to keep her students safe and the territories enforced and to deal with Jonah Griggs - the leader of the cadets and someone she'd rather forget. But what she needs to do, more than anything, is unravel the mystery of her past and find her mother - who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road six years before. The only connection to her past, Hannah, the woman who found her, has now disappeared, too, and he only clue Taylor has about Hannah and her mother's past is a partially written manuscript about a group of five kids from the Jellicoe School, 20 years ago.


I may have mentioned at some point (or at several points) that I am completely in love with audiobooks. They make my drive to work not just bearable, but enjoyable. I find that with audiobooks, your eyes don't get the chance to skip over the text and miss something important. Every nuance of a book is brought to life with unabridged recordings of books. 

On The Jellicoe Road was another brilliant use of my Audible monthly membership. Rebecca Macauley brought Melina Marchetta's Australian narrative to life. 

Taylor Markham was a protagonist who had me torn. At times I liked her cool independence and her "take no prisoners" attitude. At other times I was irritated by how tunnel-visioned she was. I guess when I was a teenager I suffered a case of near-sightedness and held the mistaken belief that my own tiny corner of the world was the sphere itself. Maybe that's just a part of growing up. Nonetheless, Taylor's selfishness irritated me. She'd been through a lot but didn't recognise the positives and potentials of her life. 

The narrative of On The Jellicoe Road was split. On the one hand there was the first person narrative of Taylor, on the other was the manuscript written by Hannah, the woman who found and cares for Taylor.  At first this was a tad confusing in the audiobook and it took me a few switches in perspective to figure out what was going on. However, I am slow...

I loved the setting of this book. The vivid description of the Jellicoe School and its surrounding grounds was made all the more bright and exciting by the Australian narrator who lent credence to the language. I found myself thinking in an Australian accent (a not at all believable one...) while listening to this book. What can I say? I'm an impressionable soul.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed On The Jellicoe Road. I'd heard a whole bunch of hype about it from my fellow bloggers and, while I'm not sure it's a book I'd rave about, it is a book which I found engaging, well-written and a pleasure to listen to. A solid four stars for this one!



  1. I've never listened to an audio book. I tried once, because I thought it would be easier than reading the book. It was some boring classic book in one of my boring Literature classes at university, but sadly the audio book was just as dull as I expect the book was. But I should probably try and listen to something more modern. I wonder how I'd like it.

    I found this book to be amazing, it absolutely blew me away, but I can see how it could be confusing to other readers. I'm glad you mostly enjoyed it.

  2. I can see where that could be a bit confusing, but I'm glad you enjoyed it over all :D

  3. This sounds a good read, I haven't listened to an audio-book before but now I want to try it - brill review :)

  4. I love your review! Here's mine if you don't mind:

    Thanks and have a nice day! =D


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