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    The Secret River (Paperback) By (author) Kate Grenville, Introduction by Diana Athill

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    DescriptionLondon, 1806 - 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. Soon Thornhill, a man no better or worse than most, has to make the most difficult decision of his life ...The Secret River is a universal and timeless story of love, identity and belonging.


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    powerful and moving5

    Marianne Vincent The Secret River is the first in the Thornhill family series by Kate Grenville. It tells the story of William Thornhill and his wife Sarah (Sal) from their childhood together in London, through William's career as a Waterman, his eventual transportation to New South Wales and the life his family made for themselves in the harsh landscape of 19th century Australia. Grenville's thorough research is apparent in the level of detail about everyday life in the new colony, detail that gives the reader a good idea of how life was for the early settlers. Grenville's beautiful prose captures well the characters' hard life and their fleeting glimpses of happiness, as well as the timeless landscape of the Australian continent. The settlers' ignorance of the indigenous population's philosophy and lifestyle becomes clear as the story progresses and the white man's attitude to the blacks is skilfully rendered with a violent climax. In order that he and his family survive, William Thornhill finds himself not only turning a blind eye to injustices, but eventually taking part in atrocities he never dreamed he would encounter. A moving and powerful read. by Marianne Vincent

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