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.
©1998 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2001 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
I discovered Bryce Courtenay because of the length of his books and after 6 of them have yet to listen to one that was not awesome. The narrator Humphery Bower has the greatest voice for story telling, a different voice for every character and he can sing too. This story truly moved me, if you are overly emotional (which I usually am not) you might want to keep some tissues handy ... I made sure to call my mom after finishing to tell her how very much I appreciate her & the love she has always shown ALL of her children. "Jessica" is one of those stories that will stay with you for a lifetime
Daily Dog Walker and LONG Silicon Valley commutes, so I gulp through and love lotsa books, especially literary fiction and Mystery.
I've become a huge fan of Bryce Courtenay, have read three of his other books and didn't think he had it in him to bomb, but he did with this one. First book that I've listened to in a long time where I skipped whole passages-- 30 minutes at a time and didn't miss a thing. I feel like this book is a rubber band that he stretched and stretched till he could no more, agonizing detail, ends up being so tediously wrought that my sympathy for all the characters simply evaporated. Once again he does a good job of integrating social issues, literacy in the text but not as subtly as in his other books. Not sure what he was up to with this one but I kind of feel like someone told it that it must be x number of pages and rather than simply doing his usual great job of telling a story, he kept looking at the page numbers and saying-- oops gotta make fifteen pages out of the description of this dog's death...
I'm not going to stop reading Courtenay, his other books are too good but I'm going to read other reviewers' words more carefully from here on out! No real redeeming qualities to this Courtenay work.
This was an enjoyable read to me. The narrator did a great job of switching back and forth between characters.
This book delved deeply into some areas that were just not engaging while leaving other more interesting aspects of the story virtually untouched. It left me rather dissatisfied with the entire book and wondering if I want to chance another Courtney book. However, the narrator is the absolute BEST and I've listened to more than 100 audiobooks.
I enjoy reading a wide variety of books, from epics to mysteries, some fantasy, and even better written chick lit. NO bodice rippers please!
In keeping with Courtnay's usual style of a downtrodden person who triumphs in the end, this was good but not as good as Brother Fish and Power of One. It was nice to have a female main character for once but I do think he writes better from a male perspective.
Everyone should listen to at least one Bruce Courtenay novel with the wonderful narrator he uses for all of his books. After one you will be hooked and have to listen to all of his books.
Character development in Jessica is superb. Courtenay's story telling keeps you involved until the last word. Humphrey Bower is a narrator without equal. Each character speaks in a recognizable voice. It doesn't get any better than Courtenay and Bower together. I've listened to all of Courenay's books -- love them all!
Bryce Courtenay's novels are the benchmark of a great listen. Coupled with Humphrey Bower's narration - his stories are hard to beat!
I love how all his stories seem to intertwine with his other books!
Entertaining! Wonderful characters! Absorbing!
You won't be disappointed!
A great story although a very very sad middle section. This book can be devided into 3 sections. The beginning, just to get to know all who are involved. A very moving middle part, very sad. Then the conclusive and last part, not one a book should end, but this seems to be a thrue story and you can't alter a true story. However beware of that.
GREAT narrator, BIG compliments there.
Although based on a historical figure Bryce did bring out the worst aspects of all of the characters in the novel. Jessica had made a promise to herself not to divulge her pregnancy to anyone which was a promise which did not seem to serve anyone's interest including her own, except perhaps the plot of the novel. Well I am about 2/3 the way thru, I do enjoy Bryce's novels, read most of them. Bryces world view and upbringing do seem to influence his characters, if you read his own bio, he has had an incredible adult life however his own personal family life appears to have been troubled ie his mother was his fathers mistress and he himself divorced his wife after many years of marriage.
All of Bryces novels are well researched and historically informative and well worth reading,
this one was rather more negative the his others but still a great read.
"An excellent read."
Bruce Courtenay novels have am almost Dickensian stature. His stories are compelling, his characters original and memorable, his prose touching purple at times. He also shares Dickens' supefluity of pathos, but never mind. 'Jessica' is not his best, but they can't all be his best. Structurally flawed insofar as he wanders off into an offshoot narrative involving the scandal of Australian racism and the confiscation of aboriginal children from their parents. Nevertheless, that story in itself is totally absorbing., so you get two for the price of one.
I suspect. Courtenay will be read and enjoyed long after many Booker prizewinners are forgotten and their books permanently shelved.
"It came recommended but did not hit expectations"
It was recommended to me but I doubt I would pass on the recommendation
The birth of the baby
I would probably not have finished it if I had read it
No. It was a bit dated in style very 70s/80s in style
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