A Journey of Discovery in Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

1544 Words 7 Pages
Josephine Alibrandi, a Catholic girl, narrates the novel in her final year of High school. She attends St Martha's, a wealthy catholic school in Sydney's eastern suburbs. Her academic scholarship ensures her place at the school as she is not as well off as the population of largely wealthy Anglo-Celtic girls that attend the school. Her Italian origin has been the reason for much persecution toward her in her life. Her background against the monied origins of her peers also provides much source of angst for Josie.
She lives in the inner-city suburb of Glebe with her single mother, who takes care of her. Their rather small dwelling is the source of some embarrassment for Josie.

Josie is essentially on a journey of discovery throughout
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Josie has long craved this feeling and her father finally provides it to her. Their relationship continues to grow stronger throughout the novel, and he tells her that "If I had to choose a daughter, I would have chosen you". This remark, combined with his attitude seems to reaffirm his postion is her life. He proposes that she comes live with him in Balmain and that she becomes his adopted daughter. She is prepared to consider a name change, yet her journey of discovery dictates that she cannot leave her mother and live with Michael. He provides only part of the answer in her journey, and she realises that she cannot desert her mother.

Josie's grandfather, Francesco had a unique situation with his wife - Josie's "Nonna". Being from Italy (the old country), it was customary for arranged marriages to be set up by ones parents. This is the situation that "nonna" found herself in. However, she committed adultery, and had a child that was not fathered by Francesco. This child was Josie's mother, and Francesco always resented her. While Josie never met him, she was aware of the coolness between her mother and him, and of the unusual situation between him and her grandmother.

This realisation of Josie's leads her to question the moralistic teachings of her grandmother, considering her sinful past. Josie views this as hypocrisy on the part of her grandmother, however we the readers are left