The Secret River

Front Cover
Canongate U.S., 2005 - Fiction - 334 pages
24 Reviews
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.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
10
4 stars
7
3 stars
4
2 stars
2
1 star
1

Her writing is nothing short of brilliant. - Goodreads
The writer is especially good at imagery. - Goodreads
The book could never have had a happy ending. - Goodreads
She is a gorgeous writer. - Goodreads
That is made quite clear in Grenville's writing. - Goodreads

Review: The Secret River (Thornhill Family #1)

User Review  - Glenn T. Ryan - Goodreads

The Secret River follows the life of young convict, William Thornhill, and his progression from a Thames waterman to a convict in colonial Australia. Will wants nothing more than to own his own patch ... Read full review

Review: The Secret River (Thornhill Family #1)

User Review  - TD Whittle - Goodreads

This is a bit of a ramble through the Australian literary bush, and suitable more for people who've already read the book, who may wish to compare notes. These are my reflections after finishing The ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

London
5
Sydney
71
A Clearing in the Forest
123
A Hundred Acres
185
Drawing a Line
233
The Secret River
271
Thornhills Place
309
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (2005)

Kate Grenville was born in Sydney in 1950. She currently lives in Sydney.

Bibliographic information