By Bryce Courtenay
Bryce Courtenay, boy oh boy… I never thought I would read one of your books, let alone enjoy it. I mean LOVE it.
I picked this book up at the local op shop for $1. I had just finished reading my first book by the Late Mr Courtenay (The Power of One) and rather enjoyed it, so I thought I may as well pick this one up and give it a shot. Well, that $1 was the best $1 I ever spent.
Jessica is divided into 3 parts/books combined in the one novel. All 3 parts revolve around the main character Jessica and her life. The first part of the novel captivates you, the second part breaks your heart, the third part brings closure, and further heartache. I like how the book is broken into 3 parts, it gives more depth to the book.
This novel is so beautifully written. It has workmanship, disaster, love, betrayal, violence, friendship, the segregation of white settlers and Aboriginals and heartache. I would re-read this book without hesitation.
Set to the back drop around World War I…
Jessica helps her dear friend Billy Simple after an unimaginable incident happens, 9 months later, a baby is born. Jessica refuses to say who the father is, which ultimately costs her, her livelihood. Jessica and her sister share the same love for the same man, which can only end badly. Jessica must eventually come clean with the truth if she has any hope of keeping her baby and herself safe from the brutality of her own mother.
Who knew a mother could be so wicked, greedy, conniving and down right horrible to their own daughter? It made me think about how lucky I am to have a selfless, loving and caring mother.
The story line is very realistic and gives you an insight onto what life was like back in early Australian settlement. Jessica is a true Australian Icon in the book world. I have read reviews stating that this is based on a true story as well which makes it a little more special but can’t find much more information other then people’s reviews stating so.
I am glad at the age of 23 I have only just discovered Mr Courtenay’s books, if I had read them at a younger age, or even when he was still alive, I do not think I would be appreciated them as much as I do now. I now plan to collect all the books he has penned.
If you read this book prepare for tears, prepare for heartbreak. Prepare to have your breath taken away. It is a truly beautiful novel. One that I have now recommended to a number of family and friends.
Have you read this book? Feel free to leave your thoughts below