Award-winning author Bryce Courtenay, tells the tragic yet inspirational story of a woman living on the black soil plains of South Western Australia during the early 20th century. As the son her father never had, Jessica's pleasure in life comes from helping him out on the farm. However, her preference and obvious flare for "men's work" leads to her ostracism both at home and in the fields. She finds that "neither sex will have her as she is, and both seem to want to punish her for being too much of the other. " While the bond between Jessica and her father is very close, her mother detests her unladylike ways but cherishes her older sister, Meg, whose sole pursuit is to snare a rich husband. The mercenary duo has their sights set on one man in particular, wealthy Jack Thomas. When Jessica poses an obstacle to this match by inspiring Jack's love, her mother reveals the terrifying extent of her capacity for evil, culminating in an ultimate act of betrayal. Having endured unimaginable loss and isolation, Jessica cultivates friendships with others who have suffered discrimination and goes on to fight for the rights of the aboriginal people. Based on a true-life story, this amazing book chronicles the most abhorrent forms of injustice and persecution. Tragedy strikes quite early and sets the pace for the devastating turn of events that follow. Throughout, the raw, unyielding landscape mirrors the harsh personalities of those who live on its soil: "The land, the dust and heat and floods and drought, everything lives off everything else, death and destruction everywhere. "
Billy O'Shannessy, once a prominent barrister, is now on the street, where he sleeps on a bench outside the State Library. Above him on the window sill rests a bronze statue of Matthew Flinders' cat, Trim. Ryan is a ten-year-old, a near-street kid heading for the usual trouble. The two of them form an unlikely bond. In telling Ryan the story of Flinders' circumnavigation of Australia as seen through Trim's eyes, Billy is drawn deeply into Ryan's life and into the Sydney underworld.
Always leave a little salt on the bread. . . Ikey Solomon's favourite saying is also his way of doing business. And in the business of thieving, he's very successful indeed. Ikey's partner in crime is his mistress, the forthright Mary Abacus, until misfortune befalls them. They are parted and each must make the harsh journey from thriving 19th century London to the convict settlement of Van Diemen's Land. In the backstreets and dives of Hobart Town, Mary learns the art of brewing and builds The Potato Factory, where she plans a new future. But her ambitions are threatened by Ikey's wife, Hannah, her old enemy. The two women raise their separate families, one legitimate and the other bastard. As each woman sets out to destroy the other, the families are brought to the edge of disaster.
In 1939, hatred took root in South Africa, where the seeds of apartheid were newly sown. There a boy called Peekay was born. He spoke the wrong language-English. He was nursed by a woman of the wrong color-black. His childhood was marked by humiliation and abandonment. Yet he vowed to survive-he would become welterweight champion of the world, he would dream heroic dreams. But his dreams were nothing compared to what awaited him. For he embarked on an epic journey, where he would learn the power of words, the power to transform lives, and the mystical power that would sustain him even when it appeared that villainy would rule the world: The Power of One.From the Hardcover edition.
After years of warring among themselves there is still no end in sight to the bitter rivalry of the Solomons. The feud between Mary Abacus and Hannah Solomon which began it all threatens to outlive both women and poison the lives of future generations. Ranging from the middle of the nineteenth century through to the First World War, from Melbourne to Gallipoli, Solomon's Song traces four generations of Solomons and tells how the men and women of one brave family helped shape the birth of a nation. Solomon's Song is a breathtaking work of fiction which brilliantly evokes the lives, hopes and dreams of the first Australians.
Bryce Courtenay sets his tale in early-thirteenth-century Germany. The story of Sylvia Honeyeater, who sings like an angel and can literally charm the birds from the trees. Weaving elements of history and folklore, he shines a light on the Childrens Crusade of 1212. Medieval Europe is mired in poverty, ignorance, religious fervor, and intolerance. The Church, which pulls the political strings and controls the dissemination of knowledge, uses superstition and misinformation to fan the flames of fear and incite conflict.
Brutally kidnapped and separated in childhood, Tommo and Hawk are reunited at the age of fifteen in Hobart Town. Together, they escape their troubled pasts and set off on a journey into manhood. From whale hunting in the Pacific to the Maori wars of New Zealand, from the Rocks in Sydney to the miners' riots in the goldfields, Tommo and Hawk must learn each other's strengths and weaknesses in order to survive. Along the way, Hawk meets the outrageous Maggie Pye, who brings love and laughter into his life. But the demons of Tommo's past return to haunt the brothers. With Tommo at his side, Hawk takes on a fight against all odds to save what they cherish most. In the final confrontation between good and evil, three magpie feathers become the symbol of Tommo and Hawk's rites of passage.
Select your format based upon: 1) how you want to read your book, and 2) compatibility with your reading tool. To learn more about using Bookshare with your device, visit the Help Center.
Here is an overview of the specialized formats that Bookshare offers its members with links that go to the Help Center for more information.
- Bookshare Web Reader - a customized reading tool for Bookshare members offering all the features of DAISY with a single click of the "Read Now" link.
- DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) - a digital book file format. DAISY books from Bookshare are DAISY 3.0 text files that work with just about every type of access technology that reads text. Books that contain images will have the download option of ‘DAISY Text with Images’.
- BRF (Braille Refreshable Format) - digital Braille for use with refreshable Braille devices and Braille embossers.
- MP3 (Mpeg audio layer 3) - Provides audio only with no text. These books are created with a text-to-speech engine and spoken by Kendra, a high quality synthetic voice from Ivona. Any device that supports MP3 playback is compatible.
- DAISY Audio - Similar to the Daisy 3.0 option above; however, this option uses MP3 files created with our text-to-speech engine that utilizes Ivonas Kendra voice. This format will work with Daisy Audio compatible players such as Victor Reader Stream and Read2Go.