The two books Willow Tree and Olive (Irini Savvides) and Looking for Alibrandi (Melina Marchetta) are very similar and yet very different. There is a distinct connection between the storyline and the personality traits of the main characters of both novels. Yet there are contrasts between the methods by which the authors have employed in writing these novels.
Willow Tree and Olive is the story of Olive. Olive is of Greek descent and she struggles with conforming to the traditions of her culture. These problems with the combination of stress form the upcoming HSC exams causes Olive to have a nervous breakdown, which bring up suppressed memories of the past. This is the story of a girl who had the whole world planned when it all plummeted down. This is the story of hope in the face of adversity.
This novel begins slowly. Quite a bit of reading is required until the reader is able to fully grasp Olive's situation.
The plot drags along as the author takes time to develop the character and at points overemphasizing Olive's problems. As we progress further, things start to happen. When we discover finally what Olive's true problems are and she goes through her emotionally problems everything happens quickly. The reader is suddenly bombarded with fragments of ides and issues. After the incident, the story returns to the slow monotonous pace and the reader discovers more after the character clearly and is then prepared for the predictable ending. The characterisation is definitely there, the way the text even reflects the way Olive feels. The book itself is made of fragments of Olive's journey, sometimes including normal 1st person text, lists so forth.
Looking for Alibrandi is the story of Josephine Alibrandi, who is of Italian descent. She too is coming terms...