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A deeply moving and unflinching journey into Australia's dark history, telling the story of two families divided by culture and land. William Thornhill arrives in New South Wales a convict from the slums of London. Upon earning his pardon he discovers that this new world offers something he didn't dare dream of: a place to call his own. But as he plants a crop and lays claim to the soil on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, he finds that this land is not his to take. Its ancient custodians are the Dharug people. The Secret River, adapted from Kate Grenville's acclaimed novel by playwright Andrew Bovell, was first performed in January 2013 at the Sydney Theatre, performed by Sydney Theatre Company. It has its UK premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2019, before coming to the National Theatre, London.
One of Anne Berry's favourite books. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2006. An epic novel of the early settlers in Australia, of the plight of the Aborigines and the crushing of ambition by the pure hardship of developing the land. We know the history but interestingly this leaves the reader to decide on the rights and wrongs as the facts are portrayed. It’s a very grand, rich, multifaceted work indeed. Comparison: Indra Sinha, Khaled Husseini, Barbara Kingsolver.