Janke's first novel, Butterfly Song, was published by Penguin Books in February 2005 and was reprinted in 2007. The story is set in 1992, the year of the Mabo Case. Tarena Palson has just finished her final law exam at university in Sydney and doesn’t know if she’ll pass. She’s not even sure she really wants to be a lawyer. Her mother Lily calls her home to Cairns and the Torres Strait to help her with a case against the local antique jeweller who is auctioning a pearl butterfly brooch. Tarena doesn’t want to deal with it; but how can she say, “No”? The brooch was hand carved by her grandfather. He gave it to her grandmother when they left Thursday Island after the Second World War. Tarena visits the Torres Strait and returns to Cairns, the place of her childhood. In piecing together information for the case, she retraces the lives of her grandmother and grandfather, and confronts her own fears.
Terri lives in Sydney with her husband and two children. For more information about Terri, see her web site at www.terrijanke.com.au.