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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.
William Thornhill, happily wedded to his childhood sweetheart Sal, is a waterman on the River Thames. Life is tough but bearable until William makes a mistake, a bad mistake for which he and his family are made to pay dearly. His sentence: to be transported to New South Wales for the term of his natural life.
The Thornhills arrive in this harsh and alien land that they cannot understand and which feels like a death sentence. But among the convicts there is a rumour that freedom can be bought, that `unclaimed' land up the Hawkesbury offers an opportunity to start afresh, far away from the township of Sydney. When William takes a hundred acres for himself he is shocked to find Aboriginal people already living on the river. And other recent arrivals - Thomas Blackwood, Smasher Sullivan and Mrs Herring - are finding their own ways to respond to them.
Soon Thornhill, a man neither better nor worse than most, has to make the most difficult decision of his life ...
"Kate Grenville has transformed an Australian myth into a dazzling fiction of universal appeal. It is a pleasure to be able to praise a true novelist."
"Here is someone who can really write."
"A powerful storyteller."
New York Times
Publication date: 05/05/2011
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Format: Paperback (b Format)
|Publication date:||5th May 2011|
|Publisher:||Canongate Books Ltd|
|Format:||Paperback (b Format)|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction, Modern and Contemporary Fiction,|
Kate Grenville was born in Sydney. Her most recent novel, The Idea of Perfection, won the Orange Prize for Fiction and became a long-running bestseller. Her five other works of fiction have won numerous awards. Kate Grenville lives in Sydney with her family. Fellow novelist ANNE BERRY on KATE GRENVILLE Quite honestly words fail me when it comes to Kate Grenville’s Secret River. It stands alone. It is exemplary. We are whisked away from England in the company of convicted criminal William Thornhill and his wife, Sal, to a convict colony in Sydney, Australia. It is there ...More About Kate Grenville