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Thornwood House

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,075 Ratings  ·  194 Reviews
When Audrey Kepler inherits an abandoned homestead in rural Queensland, she jumps at the chance to escape her loveless existence in the city and make a fresh start. In a dusty back room of the old house, she discovers the crumbling photo of a handsome World War Two medic - Samuel Riordan, the homestead's former occupant - and soon finds herself becoming obsessed with him. ...more
Paperback, 451 pages
Published September 1st 2013 by Simon and Schuster Australia
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Jess This would be a publisher's choice - much in the same way that any non-blockbuster US novels take many months to make it to Australia, it's either in…moreThis would be a publisher's choice - much in the same way that any non-blockbuster US novels take many months to make it to Australia, it's either in production or not available due to export costs. The audiobook would have been manufactured for the Australian audience, which is why it would be available - no cost to download!

As for the deaf representation, I suggest writing to the publisher to make sure that your voice is heard and that this doesn't happen again.(less)
The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCulloughTomorrow, When the War Began by John MarsdenA Town Like Alice by Nevil ShuteCloudstreet by Tim WintonPicnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
Best Books Set in Australia
60th out of 575 books — 381 voters
48 Shades of Brown by Nick EarlsThe Beach House by Helen McKennaWings of Fear by Helene YoungThornwood House by Anna RomerA Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
Queensland Fiction
4th out of 50 books — 43 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,961)
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Dec 20, 2015 Sharon rated it really liked it
Audrey Kepler inherits an abandoned homestead in rural Queensland. The timing couldn't have come at a better time as Audrey needed to get out and start a new life which she now intended to do. So with her eleven year old daughter Bronwyn by her side Audrey sets off for Queensland.

Once they are settled in the house, Audrey stumbles across an old photo of the former owner Samuel Riordan. In time Audrey starts to get preoccupied with finding out more about Samuel. Only it seems the deeper Audrey d
Sarah Ruthven
A fantastic read from a brilliant new Australian author

I love anything written in Australia, especially if it’s set somewhere I know or have been. And any book that goes back in time via old letters and diaries is high on my list to read. Each chapter of Thornwood House transported me to another time, and was jam packed with surprises, skeletons in family closets, and a cast of both lovable and wicked characters.

There's a little bit of everything in this novel. Love, mystery, murder, war and hi
Dale Harcombe
I started this book with great anticipation. The story concerns Audrey Kepler, who thanks to her former lover and father of her 11 year old daughter Bronwyn, inherits an abandoned house and land in rural Queensland. In that house she discovers a photograph of Samuel Riordan, a former owner. She becomes obsessed with him and finds herself unable to believe the stories told about him. In the process of trying to find out more about Samuel she discovers the tragic story which includes a couple of d ...more
Jenn McLeod
Sep 01, 2013 Jenn McLeod rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it is no secret..... Any story about an old house is high on my reading list! This is an amazing debut novel. I read it in two days because it was impossible to put down. i guess that is why it is on the Aussie 50 Books You Can't Put Down list! I am so captivated by the setting and the sensory journey Anna's story took me on that I am heading to QLD to visit the town that apparently inspired the story. This story is so much more than the back cover blurb. the complexity of the tale that transcen ...more
Forgive me, darling?

Audrey Kepler and her 11 year old daughter, Bronwyn inherit an abandoned homestead "Thornwood House" in rural Queensland. Determined to make a new start for themselves, they pack up and move into the house. While settling in, Audrey becomes drawn to the dusty back room of the old house and discovers an old photo of the former owner Samuel Riordan. Intrigued and fuelled by the lack of her former partner's forthcomings about his family and past, Audrey soon finds herself obesse
Sep 15, 2015 Rochelle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I must confess that if I had not won this in a book pack I would never have read it, which would have been a shame because I ended up loving this book. Crime is not my thing, so despite the pretty cover, as soon as I saw that it contained a murder mystery I would have dismissed it. Again, thankfully I didn’t it.

Thornwood House was a gripping tale. I was pulled right in from the beginning and could hardly put it down. Audrey inherits a beautiful old homestead in rural Queensland named Thornwood.
Oct 05, 2013 Kathy rated it really liked it
If you are a fan of Kate Morton, you will probably really enjoy this debut novel Thornwood House by Anna Romer. This story is full of mystery, intrigue and murders through four generations! The book is set in 2006, but Audrey is able to piece together some family mystery by finding photo’s, a diary and some old letters. That’s probably why I gave it four stars and not five – there was just too many murders and drama through each generation, and there were a few characters since the book jumps ar ...more
Nov 22, 2013 Shae rated it it was ok
While I enjoyed the basic story and mystery of Thornwood House, I found the descriptions and details frustratingly thick and long-winded. I ended up skimming an awful lot, especially in the second half as I didn't need to know which tree stood where or which bird was singing every single minute. The mystery was interesting, well researched and gripping, and the characters were generally easy to connect with (unless Ms Romer didn't want you to connect…yet…). I wanted very much to know whodunnit ( ...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

An Australian gothic novel, Thornwood House is a haunting story of mystery and murder spanning four generations.

When Audrey Kepler inherits a neglected homestead in rural Queensland she decides to make it a home for herself and her eleven year old daughter. The childhood home of her daughter's late father, Anna is surprised to discover Thornwood House harbours a tragic history. In 1946, Tony's grandmother, Aylish was murdered in the grounds, a crime his grandfather, Samuel, was accused of commit
Jan 31, 2014 Helen rated it it was amazing
This book is really good - really good! The writing is so good that I am wishing I had not listened to it as an audio; its the kind of book (I have since borrowed from the library) that you want to slowly absorb, letting the prose sink into your very being, go back and read again. Which I may well do. If you are Australian your will love the local lingo. Brilliant! Captivating! Great new Aussie writer.
I thought this was a great debut novel and look forward to reading more of Anna Romer's work. It had a bit of the thriller about it, with a 2-generations-old mystery surrounding old Thornwood House. I was listening to this one as an audiobook and I got to the point of the final 3 hours (of 16.5) one evening, and I had to decide whether to keep going for another hour or 90 minutes and then stop, continue to the end (and get to bed later than usual), or stop right then and continue at another time ...more
Stephen Kerwin
Sep 19, 2013 Stephen Kerwin rated it it was amazing
I first heard of this book when it was being spoken about locally as it was set in my local area and the author has strong ties here. This was enough for me to obtain a copy and give it a go. I'm glad I did.

I expected a nice read and I was looking forward to seeing local icons in the book. But what I wasn't prepared for was the depth, the mystery and suspense throughout the book. It is a whodunit with murders spanning four generations. There are heaps of twists as the book unfolds but there are
Feb 24, 2015 Irunesa rated it it was amazing
Me ha gustado muchísimo, la historia, la intriga y la forma delicada y bella en la que está escrira
Jun 11, 2014 Alaine rated it it was amazing
This book is absolutely brilliant! It's not just my favourite for this year but it's the best book I've read in a few years now. This isn't even a genre I particularly like but I couldn't read this fast enough. It not only has a break neck speed but the suspense keeps you on edge throughout the entire book. The writing is superb with a beautiful flow to it. Anna Romer is up there with Jodie Picoult and Diane Chamberlain and if you like these authors then add her to your must read list.
Oct 17, 2015 ChocolatPony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Meine Meinung

Angezogen von der wunderschönen Covergestaltung und der vielversprechenden Inhaltsangabe konnte ich es kaum erwarten, herauszufinden was es mit dem Rosenholzzimmer und seinen Geheimnissen auf sich hat.

Die Geschichte spielt in Australien und die Autorin hat es durch viele sehr anschauliche und geradezu poetische Beschreibungen geschafft, mich an diesen Ort zu versetzen und das Gefühl zu vermitteln, eine Gegend so gut kennenzulernen, das man das Gefühl bekommt tatsächlich dort gewesen
Sep 25, 2013 Shannon rated it really liked it
I'm pretty sure this book came out of nowhere just to floor me. Never have I been so glad that I find it impossible to put down a book! The first 150pages-ish were just really average, I wasn't interested, nothing grabbed me and it just felt a little too unbelievable that this woman was having visions of the past. But then the truth started to unfold and I realised that for the first time my feeble attempts to convince myself not to put a book down because 'it might get better' we're actually co ...more
Lauren Murphy
I just love discovering fresh Australian talent, a new author that will have me counting down the days until their next book release. Anna Romer is on that list!

When I sat down to write this review, I had so many thoughts and feelings buzzing around that I worried I wouldn’t be able to get across how much I loved this book. Then I read back over the S&S media release for Thornwood House and sighed with relief. They’ve already come up with a perfectly succinct summary of the book.

“A beautiful
Feb 20, 2016 Vane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


He pasado unas horas muy entretenidas con esta novela.
La mezcolanza de historias del pasado, dolores y pérdidas presentes, y misterios terroríficos me ha parecido una gozada.
Además, la autora me ha enseñado una nueva visión prácticamente desconocida para mí: la situación de Australia durante la II Guerra Mundial.
Y la localización de la historia me ha fascinado: la parte menos 'conocida' de Australia, exuberante, frondosa, verde.
Y todo esto viene presentado c
Nov 01, 2014 Janine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Das Rosenholzzimmer ist ein episches Meisterwerk zum weg träumen und darin versinken. Eine Mutter und ihre elfjährige Tochter erben ein Anwesen inmitten der gewaltigen Natur Australiens, in dem sie die Vergangenheit ihrer Verwandten gefangen nimmt. Anner Romer schreibt mit einem wunderschönen Erzählstil und nimmt den Leser mit auf eine Reise voller Geheimnisse und neuen Entdeckungen. Dabei kreiert sie ganz zauberhaft menschliche Charaktere, die man gar nicht mehr gehen lassen möchte. Doch das un ...more
Karen Hunt
Oct 05, 2014 Karen Hunt rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

Una historia que comienza en el pasado y continua en el presente. Está muy buena la trama, la intriga con un toque supernatural.

Audrey hereda Thornwood House luego de que el padre de Brownyn, Tony, fallece. La intención no era mudarse a la antigua mansión pero al conocerla las dos quedan enamoradas de la casa y dado que no tenían casa propia deciden darle a Thornwood una oportunidad. La casa todavía contiene los muebles y pertenencias de su antiguo habitante, Samuel Riordan, el abuelo de Tony, r
Helen McKenna
Nobody is more surprised than Audrey herself when she decides to keep the abandoned rural property she has recently inherited. Situated in Queensland, it is 2000 kilometres away from Audrey's home and life in Melbourne and needs extensive repairs. Yet she can't deny there is something about Thornwood House that draws her in and before she knows it she and her daughter have moved in.

Initially Audrey cannot understand why her estranged husband Tony owned the property in the first place, let alone
4.5 stars

That ethereal cover caught my eye, (reminiscent of Picnic at Hanging Rock) the synopsis appealed and when I discovered Thornwood House was the work of Australian author Anna Romer, I had to have it. Thornwood House is a beautiful atmospheric read, where the past and present collide in dark secrets and obsession.

Audrey Kepler welcomes the chance for a fresh start with her daughter Bronwyn when she inherits an old homestead in the small town of Magpie Creek in South East Queensland. Thor
Jun 12, 2014 Margaret rated it it was amazing
I finished this book last night and woke up this morning already missing Audrey and Bronwyn. There was such an instant connection to this mother/daughter pair and it continued right to the end of the book. In fact I didn't want it to end. I loved Thornwood House, the author had vivid descriptions of this old house and the property that I was able to visualize it perfectly. This was not the type of book that I grabbed when I had a spare 10 minutes here and there throughout the day, but rather a b ...more
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
Dec 15, 2013 Carol - Reading Writing and Riesling rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
My View:
What a fantastic debut novel – this is a great hybrid narrative – a little Gothic, a little Australiana, a little Picnic at Hanging Rock, a little mystery, murder and a little bit of history and then a slice of romance on the side. I loved the story; I loved the use of letters, diaries and old newspaper stories to help tell events of the past.

The writing is superb, there are descriptions in the novel that made my senses come alive; the description of Danny’s handmade chocolates (p 174)
Janet Temby
Sep 05, 2014 Janet Temby rated it really liked it
Listening to audio books in the car to and from work means there's usually a two day break on weekends. Normally not a problem, this just wouldn't suffice with this book. I ended up buying the ebook and reading on the weekends as well (then trying to work out where I was up to on Monday morning). Needless to say I loved this book in its complexity. It had everything I love - emotions explained beautifully, history, local architecture, the injustices of Aboriginal people in society in the 1940s ( ...more
Sep 03, 2015 Mary rated it it was amazing
I listened to this in audio book form. I had never read or listened to anything from this author before. I read the summary and gave it a try. It was so worth it! The suspense in this was amazing. The mystery was deep and tangled in the history of the family. It was great!
Yelania Nightwalker

Cuando leí la sinopsis de este libro, me llamó mucho la atención pero una vez que empecé a leerlo me di cuenta que no era el tipo de historias que me gusta leer, así que si logré terminarlo fue gracias a mi fuerza de voluntad.

Audrey esperaba deshacerse de la casa que su exmarido le dejó, sin embargo, al conocerla, tanto su hija como ella deciden quedarse con dicha casa, que viene con todo y los muebles del antiguo dueño. Dos muertes pesan sobre la mansión y son esos mismos fantasmas que empie

Oct 05, 2013 Jess rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I was a bit weary of the novel when I first started reading it but my god am I glad that I read it until the very end. Such a beautifully written book; full of love, joy and mystery as well as torment, torture and a sense of continuous dread that leaves you breathless. A must read for all.
Aug 17, 2015 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Woman inherits house, visits it to determine what needs to be done to prepare it for sale, falls in love with the house, moves in, discovers a mystery (or 3) and makes shocking discoveries about the past inhabitants... Cookie cutter stuff. We've all read it before, right? I have - several times.

But... it turns out that this novel was fresh enough to keep me interested and had a wonderful pace that maintained the feelings of suspense, mystery and discovery.

Anna Romer's prose is beautifully descri
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A new mystery gen...: Australian Gothic novel 6 25 Feb 10, 2014 04:09AM  
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Anna Romer is an Australian writer. Her novels Thornwood House and Lyrebird Hill reflect her fascination with forgotten diaries and letters, dark family secrets, rambling old houses, and love in its many guises—as well as her passion for the uniquely beautiful Australian landscape.
More about Anna Romer...

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