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Jessica Hardcover – December 1, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bryce Courtenay, bestselling Australian author, wrote his first book, The Power of One, at the age of fifty-five. This became the largest-selling book by a living Australian author within Australia, with over half a million copies sold locally. Having lived in Sydney for forty years, Bryce is a patriotic Australian, who is passionate about Australia becoming a truly great nation in the 21st century. Committed to the cause of literacy and the importance of motivating young people to read, he is actively involved with literacy programs in primary schools Australia-wide. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 395 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Australia; First Edition edition (December 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670883514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670883516
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,572,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

A wonderful compelling story.
angelajburton2347
Very interesting about life in Australia,and the hardships of life for women especially, in such a harsh country.
Judith Jacobsen
The is the first Bryce Courtenay book I've read and I loved it right to the end.
Runner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Betty Chan on December 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"Jessica" tells of a true story set in the early 1900s of a young woman's hardships inflicted upon her by her own mother, Hester, and elder sister Meg.
A story of love and friendship as well, we see Jessica grow up from a little girl all the way to her death many years later. Bryce's backward looking technique in telling the story was well done, blending seamlessly into the tale that would grip you right from the start.
I loved how easily I was drawn into the life and sufferings of Jessica and I could almost feel for her; the loneliness arising from the cruelty of her mother's dominion over the family, her heartbreak when her true love goes to war, her joy and satisfaction of a friendship she found in an Aborigine lady.
I imagine that "Jessica" could become one of the tear-jerker movies that touches people and remind us all how cruel people can be, and to really appreciate and be thankful for all that we have. "Jessica" will break your heart.
A great story told really well by Bryce.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Kelly St Denis on April 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Jessica is an excellent book. I found that it keep my interest through the whole thing....I couldn't wait to find out what happened next in Jessica's life. The writing is easy to follow and understand, and the descriptions are wonderful...it was easy to imagine the hardship of living in Australia at that time. It was a tear jerker though, and I can admit to crying while reading it, especially at the end.
I've read The Power of One, and Tandia, also by Bryce Courtenay, which were both good, especially The Power of One, but I'd say that I enjoyed this one more and really couldn't put it down until I was done. I recommend it highly.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book can not be missed, it will keep you glued to your seat just like it did with me. I havent in my life read anything as good as this. Bryce Courtenay truly has created a mastrepiece of a book.
Jessica is a tomboy (the boy her father never had) and lives on a farm with her family, in the Australian bush. The story is set in the early 1900's just before World War 1. It is a tough life just to keep the farm going, along with the stuggles that occur during the outbreak of war. Jessica's mother, Hester and sister,Meg have forever been fighting for a wealthy young man who in future is planned to be Meg's husband.However Jessica's love is real and stonger and will overpower Meg. The fight will not stop!
You will be shocked at the events that will occur in this book. They are truly unexpected and heartbreaking.
Jessica is a fantastic read for everyone!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Healy on August 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely loved this book from Bryce Courtenay. I love all his work but this one is perhaps my favourite. I actually had received my copy of Jessica from a friend living in Australia a few years ago but never had the chance to read it until recently when I heard from several other friends from Australia that a mini-series was aired on television there based on this novel. They raved about it and I decided to take some time and finally read it. I couldn't put it down once I started reading and I sailed through nearly 700 pages in 3 days!

Bryce weaves an amazing tale about the coming of age struggles of a young woman in the wild sheep country of Australia circa 1915. He takes us on a wonderful journey following Jessica from her young "tomboy" stage when she accompanies her father to the sheep shearing station and she is befriended by the son of the rich station owner, through her blossoming as a strong willed woman. Jessica battles her own family and their secret agenda and helps others she meets along the way to find respect and justice in an unforgiving time and place.

I especially love how Bryce brings out so many social issues in his work while holding the readers interest with his colourful characters. Jessica is even more amazing when you find out that it is based on a true story.

I would love to see the mini-series based on this book but unfortunately none of Bryce's books are published in America and I doubt this mini-series will be aired here. That is so disappointing because Jessica as well as other books by Bryce Courtenay have so much to say to readers and Americans are missing out on some wonderful literature.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book was really easy to read and easy to get into. You felt like you were part of the main character's life, Jessica. What an amazing woman! Her life was horrible and she was mistreated throughout it, but she remained a strong person who is very admirable. I don't know how she lived through each day with the world against her. Although it was a good book, it was also very depressing. I cried through the entire book and the ending is not exactly happy. But it is a true story so that is very inspirational. I suggest you read it, but if you are very emotional this might not be the book for you because it leaves you with an empty feeling. Overall it was very well-written.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Miss E L Wood on July 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I think this book has to be one of the best written books I have seen. It deals with many issues, including gender, race and class differences. Even though it is set in the past (before and during World War One), it has a huge relevance to life today. I cried so much throughout this book...even as a teenager I couldnt imagine the pain of what jessica went through. The fact that it is based on a true story makes it even more compelling. Also, having lived for a while in australia, I related to the setting and the characters. I would recommend this book to anyone, even the emotional because I believe anyone could get something out of it.
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