Searching For The Secret River

Searching For The Secret River : The Story Behind the Bestselling Novel

3.97 (386 ratings by Goodreads)
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Kate Grenville's The Secret River was one of the most loved novels of 2006. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize and awarded the Commonwealth Writer's Prize, the story of William Thornhill and his journey from London to the other side of the world has moved and exhilarated hundreds of thousands of readers. Searching for the Secret River tells the story of how Grenville came to write this wonderful book. It is in itself an amazing story, beginning with Grenville's great-great-great grandfather. Grenville starts to investigate her ancestor, hoping to understand his life. She pursues him from Sydney to London and back, and slowly she begins to realise she must write about him. Searching for the Secret River maps this creative journey into fiction, and illuminates the importance of family in all our lives
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 129.54 x 195.58 x 17.78mm | 204.12g
  • Canongate Books Ltd
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Illustrated
  • Main
  • 1847670024
  • 9781847670021
  • 19,392

Back cover copy

The story behind The Secret River

"A novel everyone should read." Irish Times

Shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize

In the summer of 2000, award-winning novelist Kate Grenville decided to open the closed door of her family history. Who was her great-great-great grandfather, Solomon Wiseman, a Thames boatman sent as a convict to Australia in 1806? The answers to this question were revelatory. From the bones of his life a novel slowly evolved: The Secret River.

This is the story of Grenville's investigation, a memoir of the writing process through false starts, wrong turns and exhilarating breakthroughs. It is a remarkable journey of discovery around the globe, across the generations and into fiction.

"Here is someone who can really write."
Peter Carey
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About Kate Grenville

Kate Grenville is one of Australia's best-loved authors. Her works of fiction have won numerous awards both in Australia and internationally. THE IDEA OF PERFECTION won the 2001 Orange Prize for Fiction and became a long-running bestseller. In 2006 THE SECRET RIVER won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. SEARCHING FOR THE SECRET RIVER, the story behind this novel, is also available from Canongate, alongside her first novel LILIAN'S STORY. Kate Grenville lives in Sydney, and maintains a website at
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Review quote

Grenville's skill is to turn what could have been too obviously a representative moral fable into a rich novel of character. * * Sunday Telegraph * * Grenville, as ever, describes an Australia so overwhelmingly beautiful that readers will lust after its sunbaked soul too. * * Daily Telegraph * * 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 * *
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Rating details

386 ratings
3.97 out of 5 stars
5 30% (115)
4 44% (170)
3 22% (84)
2 2% (9)
1 2% (8)
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