Sarah Thornhill

Sarah Thornhill

By (author) Kate Grenville

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Sarah Thornhill is the youngest child of William Thornhill, convict-turned-landowner on the Hawkesbury River. Her stepmother calls her willful, but handsome Jack Langland loves her and she loves him. Me and Jack, she thinks, how could it go wrong? But there's an ugly secret in Sarah's family. That secret takes her into the darkness of the past, and across the ocean to the wild coasts of New Zealand. Among the strangers of that other place, she can begin to understand. Kate Grenville takes us back to the early Australia of The Secret River and the Thornhill family. This is Sarah's story. It's a story of love lost and found, tangled histories and how it matters to keep stories alive.

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  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 154 x 232 x 28mm | 439.98g
  • 02 Feb 2012
  • Canongate Books Ltd
  • Edinburgh
  • English
  • 0857862553
  • 9780857862556
  • 9,185

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Author Information

Kate Grenville, one of Australia's most celebrated authors, has had her award-winning novels published worldwide. The Secret River won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and Lilian's Story; The Idea of Perfection won the Orange Prize for Fiction. Kate Grenville's convict ancestor inspired The Secret River, and Sarah Thornhill also has its beginnings in her family history. Along with The Lieutenant, these three novels form a loose trilogy about colonial Australia.

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Review quote

Grenville inhabits characters with a rare completeness ... She writes with a poet's sense of rhythm and imagery - Guardian

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Customer reviews

a wonderful, moving tale

Sarah Thornhill is the sequel to the award-winning The Secret River by Australian author, Kate Grenville. The story is narrated by Sarah, the youngest daughter of emancipist William Thornhill and starts some years after the events of The Secret River. Sarah is growing up in a fine house on the Hawkesbury River, in a family keeping secrets. Her step-mother, Meg, is a proud and hard woman who will never forget her husband has a taint, has worn the broad arrow. Her father is haunted by the guilt of past acts, and it seems she has a brother that no-one acknowledges. But the eldest son of the neighbouring Langlands family, a half-breed named Jack, makes life worthwhile. Their love will surely transcend any possible challenges. The story moves from the Hawkesbury to parts west and to New Zealand. Grenville's characters are well developed and the dialogue is authentic and appropriate for the illiterate daughter of an ex-convict. As she slowly builds the story, Grenville touches on the hardness of pioneering life and the range of attitudes to the aborigines of people of the time and she illustrates the importance of keeping stories alive. There is joy, sorrow, heartache, betrayal and understanding, all contained in beautiful prose. I was brought to tears at the end. A wonderful, moving tale.show more
by Marianne Vincent