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non-fiction

The book cover of The Thirteenth Night

The Thirteenth Night

Jan McNess
ISBN:1 86368 391 7
RRP: $24.95

Jeremy is dead. Jeremy is dead I say it over and over, as though saying it will make it believable Pain sears through me, paralysing me, each agonising breath forced in,out; in, out Jeremy is dead. Dead. Unbelievable. All that life, dead. Unbelievable.

— an extract from The Thirteenth Night

On the thirteenth of September, 1993 Jeremy McNess was killed when the F-111 he was flying plunged into the ground at one thousand feet per second at Guyra in northern New South Wales. In that same instant, the world of his mother, Jan McNess, changed permanently and irrevocably. The Thirteenth Night is Jan Mc Ness’s eulogy to her dead son. In it she talks candidly of his early years as a difficult child and her pride when he finally achieved his life’s dream to become a fighter pilot. She also talks of the terrible mind-numbing grief she felt in the first months after his death and how that grief, and the anger of a life cut brutally short fuelled her four-year quest to make the RAAF take some responsibility for the accident that killed her son.



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