After a childhood of poverty and petty crime in the slums of London, William Thornhill is transported to New South Wales for the term of his natural life. With his wife Sal and children in tow, he arrives in a harsh land that feels at first like a death sentence. But among the convicts there is a whisper that freedom can be bought, an opportunity to start afresh. As Thornhill stakes his claim on a patch of ground by the Hawkesbury River, the battle lines between the old and new inhabitants are drawn. The critics agree, The Secret River is a masterpiece; a spellbinding Australian classic about ownership, belonging and identity with universal themes
Winner of NSW Premier's Literary Awards: Community Relations Commission Award 2006 and ABIA Australian Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2006 and The Commonwealth Writers Prize 2006 and Fellowship of Australian Writers (FAW) Awards: Christina Stead Award 2006. Shortlisted for Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2006 and Miles Franklin Literary Award 2006.
'When William Thornhill steps ashore in 1806, it's as if no one has described the scene before him. Such is the power of Grenville's imagination that everything seems newly minted.' Bulletin 'Fabulous historical fiction.' Australian 'A few sentences of Grenville's makes one realize that much of the writing one encounters in a novel these days is thin and perfunctory. Reading The Secret River may put you off anything less accomplished for a while.' Daily Express 'One of the most entertaining, accomplished, engaging novels written in this country...We always knew Kate Grenville was good but this one is brilliant.' Courier Mail 'There is no doubt Grenville is one of our greatest writers... A book everyone should read. It is evocative, gracefully written, terrible and confronting. And it has resonance for every Australian.' Sunday Mail
Kate Grenville is one of Australia's most celebrated writers. Her bestselling novels, which have won many awards and have been published around the world, include The Secret River (shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize), Lilian's Story, The Idea of Perfection and The Lieutenant.