Jessica, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (4 ratings)


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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

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Interesting story if a bit laboured sometimes. World War I, Love, and court cases about a few different social issues.

Review by

Based on a true story of a young woman growing up in the harsh environment of the Australian outback in the 1940’s. It is an epic kind of story about her search for justice against seemingly impossible odds. Although a great story, which kept me engaged, I found it the least well written of the Courtenay books I’ve read. I found the perspective of the narration a bit clumsy at times, but still a rip roaring tale that will keep the pages turningThe end of the book touches on the issues of the Stolen Generation, and ghastly piece of Australian history that in my opinion is too often overlooked. So, I appreciated that it was written about.

Review by

one of my favourites

Review by

I'm sorry to say that I haven't enjoyed this book as much as I expected. Comparisons are usually worthless, but I can't help but think of Courtenay's former novel, "The Power of One" and find that "Jessica" lacked originality and spirit. Whereas I loved Peekay and Doc and the way the story flowed, with its easy prose, written almost like a fairy tale, with strong conviction and hope; I wasn't drawn to Jessica or her problems. I thought she was a grown up woman when she has to deal with the sneaky ways of her family (it was hard to believe that a mother could be that evil) and I believe her supposed stubbornness to protect Jack is what mostly brought her to such a desolate destiny. Didn't feel sorry for Jack neither, who finally betrays her without a blink. And then, after all this unearned hardship, she has to earn the reader's respect in the last part of the book, where she fights for the rights of the Aborigines while helping black Mary Sympson to get her children back, although I have to admit that I was shocked by the end of the story and a bit shaken while reading the last pages.All in all, I found the novel a cheap copy of "The Power of One", the same topics are discussed: the unfairness of life, strong characters who fight for justice, racism (there's also some Jew characters who play an important role at the end of the novel), human rights and war. All theses issues are discussed in the book, which is fine, but not great if you have had the pleasure of reading his masterpiece before. It has to be really difficult to write something that good and then be able to create something better.

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