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Jessica | [Bryce Courtenay]

Jessica

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©1998 Bryce Courtenay; (P)2001 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (646 )
5 star
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4.3 (325 )
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Story
4.6 (327 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Debra EAU CLAIRE, WI, United States 04-25-13
    Debra EAU CLAIRE, WI, United States 04-25-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved this book"
    Where does Jessica rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would put this book in the top 15 I have listened to.


    Which character – as performed by Humphrey Bower – was your favorite?

    Jessica.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 03-31-13
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 03-31-13 Member Since 2009

    I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    244
    ratings
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    164
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    5
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    "Not up to Bryce's normal standards"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I am not sure but my instinct is to say no. I found the story too hard to get through at the beginning and I am not sure anyone who had not already been a Bryce Courtenay fan could stick with it.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Bryce Courtenay? Why or why not?

    I am a die-hard Bryce Courtenay fan and have read about 3/4 of his books. Of all of them, though this did have its redeeming points and passages, it was one of the weakest I've read to date. That would not keep me from continuing to read the remainder of his books though.
    This book gave a revealing look at the way Australian Aborigines were treated in the early part of the 20th century... shocking. I always get historical information from reading Bryce's books. Thank goodness he didn't burden the reader this time with details of battles and injuries often found in his books.


    Which character – as performed by Humphrey Bower – was your favorite?

    I really loved Mary Simpson. A lovely Aborigine woman with grace and simplicity.


    Was Jessica worth the listening time?

    Overall I guess I would say yes. But I almost gave up 1/3 of the way through, with all the Billy Simple parts.


    Any additional comments?

    I am getting dangerously near having read all of Mr. Courtenay's books and woefully, there will be no more.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne D'bourget Portland, ME United States 03-15-13
    Suzanne D'bourget Portland, ME United States 03-15-13 Member Since 2010

    mainemamma

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    "Another wonderful book by Bryce Courtenay"

    So sad that there will be no more books from this man. I have so enjoyed all of his narratives. He writes in language that allows me to really "see" the story as well as hear it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holly Jo 04-04-12
    Holly Jo 04-04-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not a Courtenay Classic"

    I loved both Power of One and Brother Fish so Jessica was a disappointment. The relationships were underdeveloped, the characters unrealistic, and the story could (should) have been broken up into two books. It is hard to swallow there could be so many evil women out there... in one place... mothers and sisters no less. The only happy moments seemed to pop out of no where and without developing a vested interest in the outcome. Humphrey Bower was, as always, 5 stars! Jessica is 2 stars at best.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tee Bellflower Atlanta, GA 05-10-11
    Tee Bellflower Atlanta, GA 05-10-11 Member Since 2009

    Tee Bee

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyed, but not the greatest ending"

    This is my first Bryce Courtenay book, and wow, can he spin a yarn. I enjoyed the hours of sturdy storytelling, and the narrator's voice (although painful at times for Billy Simple and Jessica's whispered "no's!"). However, I didn't expect the last third of the book to go where it did (SPOILER!!!)...the aborigine rights...thought it might concentrate more on where the first of the book led up to: Jessica's baby...that story line completely fizzled. I don't need a nice happy ending, but it just seemed a little disorienting. Nevertheless, I look forward to further exploring the works of this author based on other reviews!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarai Sacramento, CA, United States 04-23-11
    Sarai Sacramento, CA, United States 04-23-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Story But No Focal Point"

    The author set up the main character Jessica quite well and before the story really began, you're able to have a vivid picture of Jessica and her family, her town, etc. I was enthralled with this book for the first half: the tragedy, the love triangle, the heartbreak, all so captivating. Then it kinda went off in all different directions. No more romance, family is out of the picture. Is it a story about Australian civil rights? Her building a new life....... I dunno. I see this is based on a true story and I think the real Jessica must have been a pretty unique individual with a great life story and I can understand the desire to shove all her amazing experiences into the story, but it made me connect with the story a lot less than I would have otherwise. with that said, I still did enjoy it and I think it's worth a credit or purchase. Just don't get too attached to what you think it's going to be about in the beginning.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Oliver 06-01-10
    Oliver 06-01-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
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    "Not up to his standards"

    I was very disappointed by "Jessica". I did listen to the whole book, but it hurt the last several hours. It is very dreary and hopeless.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy Northern CA Coast 05-28-09
    Cathy Northern CA Coast 05-28-09 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Boringly Predictable Melodrama"

    Bryce Courtenay generally spins a good yarn. I've enjoyed his books up to now. "Jessica" falls sadly short of the mark made by his trilogy. The first half of Part 1 and the last half of Part 3 are tolerable. Fast forward through most of the rest of it and you won't miss much. I wasn't uplifted, I wasn't enchanted, I was annoyed, bored and dissatisfied. Nineteen hours of soap opera is not my idea of a good book. "Jessica" earned two stars because I save my one star ratings for books I couldn't even stand long enough to fast-forward to the end. This book earned two stars because I managed to grit my teeth and finally get to the end of this sluggish, predictable melodrama.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 01-29-08
    John 01-29-08
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    "Excellent"

    I have become a great fan of BC and his narrator Humphrey Bower. Jessica was not as good as The Power of One but better than Matthew Flinder's Cat. I was fully immersed in this book and laughed/cried in places as he makes the characters come alive. This book is definitely worth the price of a credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terri Leavenworth, WA, USA 04-29-10
    Terri Leavenworth, WA, USA 04-29-10
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    REVIEWS
    7
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    "This was unbelievably poor"

    The book starts out ok then the characters do complete personality changes. Really unbelievalbe. Don't waste your time and money.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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