The Orange Prize-winning author Kate Grenville recalls her family's history in an astounding novel about the pioneers of New South Wales. Already a best seller in Australia, The Secret River is the story of Grenville's ancestors, who wrested a new life from the alien terrain of Australia and its native people. London, 1806. William Thornhill, a Thames bargeman, is deported to the New South Wales colony in what would become Australia. In this new world of convicts and charlatans, Thornhill tries to pull his family into a position of power and comfort. When he rounds a bend in the Hawkesbury River and sees a gentle slope of land, he becomes determined to make the place his own. But, as uninhabited as the island appears, Australia is full of native people, and they do not take kindly to Thornhill's theft of their home.
The Secret River is the tale of Thornhill's deep love for his small corner of the new world, and his slow realization that if he wants to settle there, he must ally himself with the most despicable of the white settlers, and to keep his family safe, he must permit terrifying cruelty to come to innocent people.
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KATE GRENVILLE was born in Sydney, Australia. Her bestselling novel The Secret River has won numerous international awards, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book. It was also a finalist for the Man Booker Prize and the Miles Franklin Award. The Idea of Perfection won the Orange Prize for Fiction, Britain’s most valuable literary award. Grenville is also the author of several other novels and three books on the craft of writing. She lives in Sydney with her family. Visit her online at kategrenville.com.From AudioFile:
For contemporary Australians, a genealogical search might well lead back to the British prisoners, circa 1800, who were exiled to the no-man's-land of New South Wales. Orange Prize winner Grenville found out little about her own family, but the heritage she creates in this historical novel is both personal and believable. Audie Award winner Simon Vance narrates with only the slightest British accent. The moment he steps into dialogue, however, the characters come alive and distinct. These men were not murderers or hardened criminals, and Vance's ability to convey sensitivity behind the gruff exterior of their voices (or, in the case of a few, the lack of sensitivity) reaches refreshingly beyond the words on the printed page. R.R. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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