From Darwin to Pearl Harbour, Sydney to Papua New Guinea, a compelling story of courage, honour and a great love set against the epic backdrop of the Second World War
Eighteen-year-old Junie Wallace is a smart girl and, with her two brothers away at war and her third brother just killed in action, she knows there is only one way to save the family farm for her grieving parents. Unfortunately, that solution involves marrying the unscrupulous Ernest, and breaking the heart of the young drover she loves, Michael.
But the war is looming ever closer, and when Pearl Harbour brings the threat of Japanese aggression to Australian shores, the fates of many becomes inextricably interwoven.
From the explosive battles of the Pacific campaign to the desperate fighting in the Papuan New Guinea rainforest; the dancehall gaiety of Sydney’s Trocadero to the terror of the Darwin bombings, this epic family saga brings home the importance of mateship and of fighting for what you believe in, even when impossible odds seem stacked against you, even when all seems lost…
Worth Fighting For is a resounding testament to the enduring force of love: a reminder of what can be achieved if you draw on your reserves of courage and listen to the truth in your heart.
"In Worth Fighting For, author Mary-Anne O’Connor has drawn on her family history to create the characters of this wartime romance, set in country NSW, the big smoke of Sydney as well as Darwin and New Guinea as the war in the Pacific rages." - The Weekly Times
"This book is a heartfelt tribute to the war experience, both on the front and the sacrifices made on home soil, featuring an enigmatic leading lady...O’Connor takes us on a journey to country Australia, to cities such as Sydney and Darwin, along with the battlefields of the Pacific, the harshness of Papua New Guinea and all the way to Pearl Harbour in her novel. As a result, Worth Fighting For is a book that is rich in historical detail." - Mrs B's Book Reviews
"Ultimately Worth Fighting For is a tale of love, of hanging on and holding out hope when all seems lost. A tale of enduring through hardship and learning to live with the nightmares; a tale of hope, of loss, of friendship, betrayal and resilience." - Beauty and Lace
About the Author
Mary-Anne O'Connor nee Best grew up in Wahroonga in the Bushland Shire of Hornsby-Kuringai, northern Sydney. The youngest of six children, her childhood was spent exploring the local bush and playing music with her siblings and close neighbours. An avid reader, she devoured her mother Dorn's extensive library and was often found trying to finish a chapter by torchlight late at night. She also began to fill every blank piece of paper in the house with stories and drawings of her own and dreamt of becoming a writer one day.
When she was twelve her father Kevin Best left his established career in the stock-market to become one of Australia's best-loved artists. The perseverance and ultimate triumph she witnessed during those years left her inspired to follow in his footsteps and pursue her own creative aspirations. A colourful marketing career followed, along with the completion of education/arts degree with specialities in literature, music and environment. During this time she also co-wrote two books with her father, A Brush with Light and Secrets of the Brush. Work then began on her first major novel, Gallipoli Street. This work gained critical acclaim and finished at #3 for debut novels in Australia in 2015. Her second novel Worth Fighting For was published in October 2016 and her third war story War Flower was released in October 2017.
Mary-Anne has drawn on her love of the Australian bush, her fascination with her own family history and her deep, abiding respect for the men and women who carried our nation through turbulent, formative times to produce these novels. It was written in her office at home, surrounded by her grandfather's war memorabilia and beneath a long window that overlooks her beloved gum trees.
Mary-Anne still lives in the Bushland Shire with her husband Anthony, their two sons, Jimmy and Jack and their very spoilt dog, Saxon.