The Secret River

The Secret River

by Kate Grenville
4.2 6

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

The Secret River by Kate Grenville

In 1806 William Thornhill, an illiterate English bargeman and a man of quick temper but deep compassion, steals a load of wood and, as a part of his lenient sentence, is deported, along with his beloved wife, Sal, to the New South Wales colony in what would become Australia. The Secret River is the tale of William and Sal’s deep love for their small, exotic corner of the new world, and William’s gradual realization that if he wants to make a home for his family, he must forcibly take the land from the people who came before him. Acclaimed around the world, The Secret River is a magnificent, transporting work of historical fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781841959146
Publisher: Canongate U.S.
Publication date: 03/28/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 96,436
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

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The Secret River 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My ancestors were transported from England, Scotland, and Ireland to Bermuda. They later came to America This book gives excellent insight about how and why this happened. It was fascinating to discover living conditions in Great Britain in the 17th & 18th cenutries and the possibilities in the New World. The encounters with the natives of the land occupied tore my heart out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every now and then, it is incumbent on those who come across a book that is beyond all others, to say so. The Secret River is one such book. If you have not read this wonderfully entertaining and brilliantly written book, you should read no more of this but hurry off and get a copy. You will not be disappointed by a writer who is all class. Mike from Christchurch
thewanderingjew More than 1 year ago
Australia was populated by English felons, some of whom were convicted of very minor crimes for which the death sentence was demanded. Not all were hardened criminals, some were petty thieves, but all were pretty hopeless about their futures. In the late 1700's and early 1800's, they were pardoned from death sentences and sent to New South Wales, which was used as a penal colony. What they found in Australia was not much better than what they left behind, perhaps far worse, but at least they were alive. Although they were granted clemency, they seemed to want to imitate their oppressors as they moved on in life, rather than learn from them. As they were indentured, they sought to indenture others they deemed lesser souls than they themselves. The Aborigines were maltreated and murdered for transgressions they probably were not even aware of since the land was theirs and they had lived on it as they chose, taking from it what they needed, until these intruders arrived. The arrival of the white man with their huts merely changed the topography but not their way of life. Very little effort was made to integrate them into the society being developed...if one could call it that, at that time. This book is about man's inhumanity to man. Mankind has not learned from experience when it comes to cruelty. The weak are always oppressed by the strong. It seems no matter how we mature, the same inability to get along with others who are different, still persists. Although the book is written well, I did not find it to be a quick read because of the use of the old English terms, popular at the time the book takes place. I found them distracting. There were many times I was unsure of the meaning and had to stop and look them up. It would have been a smoother read for me if a glossary had been provided. I did want to finish the book once I began but sometimes I felt that I was plodding through the mud and mangroves with them. The history of Australia drew me into the book and held me there. The hardships they faced were extraordinary, hardships that those of us in this modern age could not even conceive. It would be a better read though, if one had a little Oxford Dictionary nearby to make the reading more fluid and continuous.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An interesting story.I thought that the author did a very good job by coming up with such a fascinating story.The plot is so entertaining and thought-pricking, yet sad and intriguing at the same time. I loved every chapter of it. The lessons are so many as well. Eventhough I do accept the saying that 'Where it goes well with me, there is my fatherland',this book opens the door to the conflicts that must be resolved for those settling in new lands and the indegenious people receiving them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An interesting story.I thought that the author did a very good job by coming up with such a fascinating story.The plot is so entertaining and thought-pricking, yet sad and intriguing at the same time. I loved every chapter of it. The lessons are so many as well. Eventhough I do accept the saying that "Where it goes well with me, there is my fatherland",this book opens the door to the conflicts that must be resolved for those settling in new lands and the indegenious people receiving them.Usurper and Other Stories,Carry Me Down,Triple Agent Double Cross, Nervous Conditions, Wizard of the Crows, Union Moujik also highlight this issue and provide insights from the resolution of others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Many of the women in my book group did not like the husband. I thought he was a strong character doing what he needed to do for his family. It wasn't pretty, but much of history is not. He knew they could not go back.