Couple: Francesca “Frankie” Spinelli and William “Will” Trombal of “Saving Francesca” (and “The Piper’s Son”) by Melina Marchetta
Ages: In “Saving Francesca,” they’re 17 & 18
Who Are They?: Frankie is one of only 30 girls who attend the “co-ed” Sydney prep school St. Sebastian’s, and Will is her House prefect. Frankie’s life has been turned upside down by her mother Mia’s sudden bout with depression, and she’s a larger-than-life personality bubbling beneath a blank-personality exterior she affects to stay purposely unremarkable. Will is incredibly logical and intense but truly introverted, whereas Frankie is emotionally volatile, so loud and full of life when she finally unleashes her true self that she’s a wonder for Will to see.
Why Do We Love Them?: Marchetta is the queen of complicated first loves that are actually one-of-a-kind forever loves. We realize that’s controversial when it comes to adolescent relationships, because how many of us actually married our first serious boyfriend or girlfriend (OK, I did, but it’s really rare!)? But Marchetta’s characters are not motivated simply by lust. They’re troubled with difficult pasts and emotional baggage, and they have to fight — really fight — for the love they so richly deserve. Will and Frankie are opposites, but they can’t keep their gazes away from each other for long. They’re passionate, and their devotion to each other is at once exclusive and generous. He doesn’t much care for her all of her friends — especially her two best male friends — but he will do ANYTHING for her, even put up with guys he kinda can’t stand. And she gets him in a way nobody else does, so whereas everyone else sees an aloof, cocky former choirboy, she sees this fiery spirit that glows brightly especially for her. For those who can’t get enough of their story in “Saving Francesca,” check out “The Piper’s Son,” which is told from Thomas Mackee’s perspective five years after we meet all the San Sebastian characters. You’ll see just how .
Will on Frankie:
“It’s like you have a plan and someone comes along and makes you want to change it all, but you still like your first plan, no matter how fantastic the second one makes you feel.”
“But that’s it. When I think of you, I think future stuff. I think of this is it and I’m not supposed to think this is it at my age. I don’t look at you and think nice. I look at you and think, oh my God, I want to hold her and never let her go. I think, sex-right here, right now-”
“‘Kind of interested in you,’ he laughs, as if he can’t believe what he’s hearing. ‘I’m kind of interested in calculus and Ancient Roman warfare. You don’t use words kind of interested to describe how I feel about you.'”
Frankie on Will:
“His voice is deep and gravelly. I once heard one of the girls say that he had the voice of a sex god, but because I’ve never really heard what a sex god sounds like, I can’t verify that.”
“I used to tell your mother she looked like Sophia Lauren.” He looks at me, frowning, and then it registers.
“Oh God, some guy’s using that line on you, isn’t he?”
“Not just ‘some guy’.” I tell him. “The guy.”
“I can’t get the Will Trombal kiss out of my mind. No. “Kiss” is not the word to describe it. The Will Trombal experience. The Will Trombal extravaganza.”