Sarah Thornhill

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Jul 17, 2012 - Fiction - 320 pages
14 Reviews

When The Secret River, a novel about frontier violence in early Australia, appeared in 2005, it became an immediate bestseller—but it also caused controversy for its unflinching look at Australia’s history. It has since been published all over the world and translated into twenty languages. The follow-up novel, The Lieutenant, continued Grenville’s exploration of the story of first settlement and once again caused controversy in her homeland. Now Sarah Thornhill brings the trilogy to an emotionally explosive conclusion.

Sarah is the youngest daughter of William Thornhill, the pioneer at the centre of The Secret River. Unknown to her, her father—an illiterate ex-convict from London—has built his fortune on the blood of Aboriginal people. With a fine stone house and plenty of money, Thornhill is a man who’s reinvented himself. As he tells his daughter, he “never looks back,” and Sarah grows up learning not to ask about the past. Instead, her eyes are on handsome Jack Langland, whom she’s loved since she was a child. Their romance seems idyllic, destined, but the ugly secret in Sarah’s family is poised to ambush both of them.

With Sarah Thornhill, Grenville uses family history to tell a story about the past that’s also about the present and its dilemmas. Driven by the captivating voice of the illiterate Sarah—at once headstrong, sympathetic, curious and refreshingly honest—this is an unforgettable portrait of a strong and passionate woman caught up in a historical moment that has left an indelible mark on the present.


What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DeltaQueen50 - LibraryThing

Sarah Thornhill by Kate Grenville is a direct sequel to her novel Secret River as well as the third book in her Colonial Trilogy. Sarah is the last child born to William Thornhill, her mother is dead ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - siri51 - LibraryThing

good to revisit the sometimes troubled Thornhill family in this sequel. Sarah is a strong and determined character - this is all about her point of view; her doomed relationship with Jack and her discovery of the father's sins. Read full review


Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 28

Chapter 9
Chapter 10

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

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

Bibliographic information