Some stories just present themselves. The story of Jessica came to me via a letter from a delightful lady named Margaret Duff. "I'd like to tell you the story of my Aunt Jessica," the letter began and continued for the next ten pages. I was so intrigued that I caught a plane and went to visit her in the small town where she lived. Then, over several weeks, I researched the story of one of the most remarkable young women (hitherto completely unknown) to come out of the early part of the 20th century. After that Jessica (the book) simply wrote itself. It remained the number-one best-seller for the next two years and was voted Australia's most popular book twice.
'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.