The Secret River

Front Cover
Canongate, 2005 - Fiction - 334 pages
560 Reviews
The Orange Prize-winning author Kate Grenville recalls her family's history in an astounding novel about the pioneers of New South Wales. Already a best seller in Australia, The Secret River is the story of Grenville's ancestors, who wrested a new life from the alien terrain of Australia and its native people. London, 1806. William Thornhill, a Thames bargeman, is deported to the New South Wales colony in what would become Australia. In this new world of convicts and charlatans, Thornhill tries to pull his family into a position of power and comfort. When he rounds a bend in the Hawkesbury River and sees a gentle slope of land, he becomes determined to make the place his own. But, as uninhabited as the island appears, Australia is full of native people, and they do not take kindly to Thornhill's theft of their home.

The Secret River is the tale of Thornhill's deep love for his small corner of the new world, and his slow realization that if he wants to settle there, he must ally himself with the most despicable of the white settlers, and to keep his family safe, he must permit terrifying cruelty to come to innocent people.

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The writing is evocative, the plot riveting. - Goodreads
Starts a little slow, but ends up a page turner! - Goodreads
good read, powerful ending - Goodreads
I was personally disappointed with the ending. - Goodreads
The writer is especially good at imagery. - Goodreads
It was well written and easy to read. - Goodreads

Review: The Secret River (Thornhill Family #1)

User Review  - Deirdre Flynn - Goodreads

Listened to audiobook. Thought it was well done. Often brutal tale about the colonization of Australia, combined with a sympathetic portrayal of certain colonists and the bleak choices they faced. Read full review

Review: The Secret River (Thornhill Family #1)

User Review  - Lizzie Bissett - Goodreads

Great book and insight to how people went from being deported to Australia in 19th century to make a life for themselves as "proper" citizens. Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Kate Grenville was born in Sydney in 1950. She currently lives in Sydney. She is one of Australia┐s best-known authors. She is the winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Commonwealth Writers┐ Prize, and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She will be at the Oz, New Zealand festival of literature and arts program in London in 2015.

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