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The Secret River [Paperback]

Our Price $ 13.60  
Retail Value $ 16.00  
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Item Number 346527  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   352
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.1" Width: 5.4" Height: 1"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 10, 2007
Publisher   Canongate U.S.
ISBN  1841959146  
EAN  9781841959146  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Moving between the slums of nineteenth-century London and the convict colonies of Australia, a compelling historical novel chronicles the lives and fortunes of the early pioneers of New South Wales, in a volume based on the author's own family history. Reader's Guide available. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.

Publishers Description
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. William Thornhill, a Thames bargeman, is deported to the New South Wales colony in what would become Australia in 1806. 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.

Buy The Secret River by Kate Grenville from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781841959146 & 1841959146

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More About Kate Grenville

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Kate Grenville's works of fiction include The Secret River, winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book and short listed for the Man Booker Prize, and The Idea of Perfection, winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction. She lives in Sydney.

Visit her website at

Kate Grenville currently resides in Sydney. Kate Grenville was born in 1950.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary   [78538  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary   [246863  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical   [9169  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Beautiful and touching book  Sep 16, 2008
I bought this book while travelling in Australia. I asked in the bookshop for the fictional book that would give me some insight into the history of colonization of Australia, and this book certainly did not disappoint me. Beautiful language, touching story, excellent reading. I was absorbed with the story.

Book starts with the description of life in England at the end of the 18. century, and follows the story of a poor, albeit able man, who is sent to Australia as condemned convict to serve his sentence. Plot follow his life as he raises through the ranks to became independent and eventually rich settler, even though the price he pays for that is not cheap.

Book beautifully describes life both in England and in Australia at the end of 18. century and really gives you an insight into difficult life (for both white settlers and aborigins). It is very difficult to imagine Sydney harbour being as described in this book, but this is one of the enjoments I had with this book, imagining how the places I just visited looked more than 200 years ago.

I highly recommend this book to anybody, not just those who would like to get more familiar with the history of Australia. Even though some parts about fights between settlers and aborigins are harder to read as story becames really sad, such was the history of colonization, which I felt was trully depicted in this book.
A mixed bag, but not my bag.....  Jul 19, 2008
I found this book to be quite a mixed bag. I am fascinated by Australia and really enjoyed the historical information about living conditions in England and Australia, about the settlers sent to Australia as a sort of deliverance from what was really another planet and about the Australian aborigines and their reactions to the settlers/invaders--- all of this was well worth reading. It is somewhat Micheneresque, but better, I think.

Now, on to "not my bag". There is a sort of sadistic streak in some current literature which requires that the reader bow his head and take a beating as his just reward in this hideous and flawed world in which we are all guilty of terrible depredations toward the innocent and the weak. I felt that THE SECRET RIVER partakes heavily of that cake, and having consumed it many times before, I just didn't want to eat it once again. I didn't want to read about the violence, the betrayals, the terrible weakness, misery and guilt of individuals/invaders/predators. That's why I have given a relatively well-written book two stars. I admit it's a personal vantage point which not everyone shares, and, no doubt, many others will find this book more enjoyable than I did.

An enthralling novel of early white Australian life.  Jul 7, 2008
Kate Grenville's imagery is beautiful. This novel transports you back to life on the Hawkesbury 200 years ago, warts and all.
A challenge for some readers  Jun 4, 2008
I read this for our local book group discussion. I got to a certain point, then could not continue, knowing how violent the story was becoming. Now, I will own up that I do not enjoy movies with violence, nor do I like books that are too graphic in their violent scenes. The Secret River had not only portrayed graphic violence, but also prejudice that mirrored our own country's shameful treatment of Native Americans and other people of color. Heck, our country certainly has a long history of prejudice against whites, too--think of European immigrants,e.g, the Irish, the Poles, etc. I visited Australia in 2007. In an isolated incident, I encountered an Aussie who vehemently stated "I HATE 'em" when our conversation turned to a discussion of Aborigines. At that point, I felt I was listening to an American White Supremacist rail against all people who were not "pure." Maybe this won't bother you, but it disgusted me, and knowing where the story was heading, I had to put it down. Grenville's writing did draw me into the story, and that kept me reading as long as I did. Her character development was generally satisfactory, yet some of her characters left me wanting more development. I won't advise against reading The Secret River; but readers who have a distaste for stories that include violence and intolerance---beware.
Still living the nightmare of our ancestors.  Feb 16, 2008
I bought this book by chance (nice cover).
It is a good story and reads easily. The woman shines through beautifully and the husband plays his part well - a weak and slow witted person and yet a good husband and father. One son has the courage to rebel and shows the beauty of what man is capable.
And isn't it a cooincidence that Australia just apologized to the autochtones for all of their inhumane treatment.
The paralell between the European devastaton of the Americas and Australia is quite normal given the arrogance of the Occidental Civilization.

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