Jessica is a member of poor farming family in Yanco NSW, she is a tomboy farmgirl who has her eyes on the rich farmer in the area Jack. Their romance is soon killed thanks to her nasty mother that insists Meg (Jessica's sister) seduces Jack, and fakes a pregnancy to trick Jack into marring her. Little do the family know that Jessica is actually pregnant to Jack. Once they find out Jessica is pregnant out of wedlock they hide her away from the town. To prove Meg has a baby they steal Jessica's newborn baby and send Jessica away to a mental asylum where she is locked away for years. She writes to a lawyer in hopes to gain her freedom and get her baby back.
Reading other reviews of this mini-series confirms my belief that it is one that people either love or hate. The reason is more than likely the plot of the novel by Bryce Courtenay. Either the viewer will see this as an astonishing true story of deception or a whole pack of lies. If you can't believe the story, both the book and the film will be difficult to enjoy. Having read the book first, I found the mini-series a very faithful adaptation. The characters in the book were accurately portrayed in the film and the acting was first class all round. We are used to BBC dramas with painstaking attention to period detail but it is rare to see an Australian story from the early 1900s in which so much care is taken with historical accuracy. The central tablelands villages of Carcoar and Millthorpe provide perfect backdrops, having been maintained as 19th century towns. I wonder did anyone notice that the sign on one of the buildings in "Narrandera" (actually Carcoar) had the town name spelled as it was in 1890? That level of attention to detail is typical of the fine work of the creators of this exceptional mini-series.
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