Tasmanian born Rachael Treasure gets as excited about dung beetle activity in the soil as she does by beautiful writing. By combining her love for the land and the written word, Rachael sparked a publishing boom in 2002 when her first novel Jillaroo woke the world up to contemporary women's stories beyond the city lights. Rachael lives in Southern rural Tasmania and is a full time mother to two young humans and many eccentric animals including a budgie called Putty Plonkit. She has been dubbed an agricultural activist, farm feminist and literary pioneer and has worked as a rural journalist, radio broadcaster, truffle sniffer dog handler, professional wool classer, stock camp cook, drover, farm manager and working dog trainer. Her novels following Jillaroo include The Stockman, The Rouseabout, The Cattleman's Daughter, The Farmer's Wife, Cleanskin Cowgirls and short story collections, The Girl and the Ghost-Grey Mare and Fifty Bales of Hay. Non fiction works are Don't Fence Me In - Grassroots Wisdom from a Country Gal and working dog training book, Dog Speak. Her screenplay Albert's Chook Tractor was filmed for SBS Independent TV.
Jillaroo by Rachael Treasure lives up to the author's surname. Set against the backdrop of rural Australian life, it is an absorbing story tracing a decade in 20-something-year-old Rebecca Saunders' life. Rebecca is a wonderful character being both feisty and fallible, the type of character that would make an inconspicuous role model for young adult girls. The pages of Jillaroo turn easily as we share the challenges Rebecca faces with her relationships, her career, her family and, at the centre of it all, the country property that at once unites and divides them. Fans of TV shows like `McLeod's Daughters' will enjoy the authentic descriptions of farming life, while readers interested in spicy relationship dynamics will also be satisfied. The author's treatment of the mother/child relationship is particularly strong, dealing with the complicated feelings of guilt and resentment which have tainted Rebecca's family since her mother left her young family to escape boredom, an unfulfilled husband, and to fulfill her dreams of becoming a vet. The author's easy narrative, and solid and believable characters and plot (complete with mushy romantic twists) make Jillaroo a widely appealing read. In short, a real treasure. Michelle Atkins is a freelance writer. C. 2002 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors