The Burial by Courtney Collins

After reading the three pages that compose Chapter One, I burst into tears, and then did not put this book down until it was finished. Set at the start of the 20th century, and based on the life of real female bushranger Jessie Hickman, this is the story of one woman's struggle for independence and freedom in a male dominated world.

After serving a two year sentence for horse rustling, Jesse is apprenticed to the brutal and manipulative Fitz. Forced by circumstances into a life she would not have chosen, Jesse takes off into the mountains following her final altercation with him. Pursued by the law, wild vigilantes, the tracker Jack Brown and most pressingly by her own past, there is only so long that the unforgiving mountains can keep her safe.

I cannot rate this debut novel highly enough, and as it has recently been nominated for the Stella Prize (best work of fiction or non-fiction by an Australian Female author), it would appear I am not alone.

Review by Erin @ Great Escape Books