The Secret RiverPaperback
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- Paperback $10.35
- Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
- Format: Paperback | 352 pages
- Dimensions: 127mm x 193mm x 28mm | 227g
- Publication date: 7 September 2006
- Publication City/Country: Edinburgh
- ISBN 10: 184195828X
- ISBN 13: 9781841958286
- Edition: New edition
- Edition statement: New edition
- Illustrations note: map
- Sales rank: 27,194
This story is set in London, 1807. 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...
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Kate Grenville was born in Sydney. Her last novel, The Idea of Perfection, won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2001 and became a long-running bestseller. Her five other works of fiction have won numerous awards. Kate Grenville lives in Sydney with her family.
"We have had to wait five years for The Secret River but the wait has been worth it... Splendidly paced, passionate and disturbing." The Times "Grenville, as ever, describes an Australia so overwhelmingly beautiful that readers will lust after its sunbaked soul too." Daily Telegraph "A sad book, beautifully written and, at times, almost unbearable with the weight of loss, competing distresses and the impossibility of making amends." Observer "Grenville's skill is to turn what could have been too obviously a representative moral fable into a rich novel of character." Sunday Telegraph"