Looking for Alibrandi

Length: 636 words

Throughout the novel ‘Looking for Alibrandi’ by Melinda Marchetta, Josephine’s attitudes towards her family change. At the beginning of the book Josie clung to her mother and didn’t know or understand her grandmother and father. By the end, she develops a much more mature relationship with mum and comes to understand and accept her grandmother and father. The relationship between Josie and her mother at the start of the novel was very suffocating for her mother. They were very close and loved each other but Josie didn’t understand that her mum needed to have her own life.

She relies on her for everything and thinks she would be lost without her. When Christina suggested that they should go away for Easter, Josie instantly thought there was something wrong with her and thought she was dying of cancer. When she went out with a man, Josie got jealous because she didn’t want to have to share her mother with anyone. ‘I never want it to be anything but her and me and I’m angry that she’s even thinking of letting anyone else in’, (page 99). It is obvious that at this stage of the novel Josephine is too dependent on her mother and needs to give her some space.

As the book went on, Josie started learning more about her mother and that helped her relationship with Christina mature into more than simply mother daughter. Learning about the hard time her mum had when having her, made Josie understand what she went through for her and all the sacrifices she’d made throughout her life. Talking to Michael about Christina when she was young made her realize that her mother had her own dreams and she wasn’t always the most important thing in her life. Josie’s attitudes and relationship with her grandmother changed dramatically through the book. At the beginning, Josie couldn’t stand her Nonna.

Because they had grown up in different times and places, they didn’t understand or relate to each other. Because of that Josie was easily frustrated with her and they struggled to get along. ‘She drives me crazy. Sometimes I have to grit my teeth to control myself’, (page 37). Gradually, through the course of the novel, Josie comes to realise that Nonna wasn’t always old and vain. That she was young and boy crazy, and like herself felt trapped by the rules of society. learning Nonna’s big secret about Marcus Sanford being Christina’s real dad helped Josie understand why Nonna treated Christina the ay she did and why she interfered so much in the life of her and Christina.

Understanding each other helped their relationship develop and by the end of the book Josie comes to accept and respect her grandmother and forgive the way she’s treated her mother. At the beginning of the book, Josie had never met her father and wouldn’t have cared if she never did. She hated him for the way he left her mother alone to face Nonno Francesco when she got pregnant and blamed him for all the talk that her and her mum had to put up with from the Italian community.

In their first few encounters they make it obvious they don’t want to have anything to do with each other and agree never to see each other again. That changed after Josie needed him to get her out of trouble and for the first time she feels what it’s like to have a dad. Their relationship grew from there and they begun to see more and more of each other and managed to get along well. Michael took Josie to Adelaide with him to meet the other side of her family and invited her to work for him.

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