Author(s): Bryce Courtenay
Jessica is based on the inspiring true story of a young girl's fight for justice against tremendous odds.A tomboy, Jessica is the pride of her father, as they work together on the struggling family farm. One quiet day, the peace of the bush is devastated by a terrible murder. Only Jessica is able to save the killer from the lynch mob - but will justice prevail in the courts? Nine months later, a baby is born ... with Jessica determined to guard the secret of the father's identity. The rivalry of Jessica and her beautiful sister for the love of the same man will echo throughout their lives - until finally the truth must be told. Set in the harsh Australian bush against the outbreak of World War I, this novel is heartbreaking in its innocence, and shattering in its brutality. 'A deserved bestseller, based on fact, a story told with heartbreaking honesty.'Australian Women's Weekly'Courtenay draws on the social satire of Jane Austen and the dark forces of Thomas Hardy, and his tragic heroine parallels Antigone ... ' Herald Sun
~ I fell utterly in love with the heroine of this novel, Jessica Bergman, whose true story this novel is based on - and I am sure you will too.
Jessica is a fiery, down to earth young woman who has grown up as more of a tomboy, helping her father around the station whilst her mother has been far more involved with the rearing of her other daughter, Meg, whose future she has planned out as a lady of society.
The man whom Jessica's mother has set her sights on for Meg is Jack, the son of the wealthy and tyrannical George Thomas.
Meanwhile, Jessica spends her childhood growing up beside Jack in her job as tar boy, then later in mustering - and theirs is a deep friendship that grows over the years.
When Billy Simple (named so after suffering a severe head injury at the shearing station) turns up at Jessica's house after the murder of Jack's mother and sisters, she is determined to bring him to justice instead of letting him get lynched by the townspeople.
Soon after, Jack signs up for WW1 and he meets Jessica, earnestly promising to marry her upon his return. Of course Meg and her conniving mother have other plans in mind, including wrangling Jack into marriage with Meg before he goes to war, after believing he has made her pregnant (he hasn't).
Jessica has fallen pregnant and won't reveal the father to anyone. She is made to feel a disgrace and banished from seeing anyone, cast into increasing exile and not even able to turn to her own father who has succumbed to his wife's manipulations. Even through all the torment Jessica goes through, she remains fiercely loyal, strong and lovely - and it is impossible not to both root for her and be truly heartbroken by what she endures.
A remarkably woven tale of a truly amazing woman. Jemma
Bryce Courtenay is the bestselling author of The Power of One, Tandia, April Fool's Day, The Potato Factory, Tommo & Hawk, Solomon's Song, Jessica, A Recipe for Dreaming, The Family Frying Pan, The Night Country, Smoky Joe's Cafe, Four Fires, Matthew Flinders' Cat, Brother Fish, Whitethorn, Sylvia, The Persimmon Tree, Fishing for Stars, The Story of Danny Dunn, Fortune Cookie and Jack of Diamonds. The Power of One is also available in an edition for younger readers, and Jessica has been made into an award-winning television miniseries. The Silver Moon: Reflections and Stories on Life, Death and Writing is being published in November 2014. facebook.com/BryceCourtenay The World of Bryce Courtenay