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The Secret River by Kate Grenville
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Jan 19, 11

bookshelves: we-recommend
Read in March, 2010

You are on William Thornhill’s side from the start of this novel. After a tough upbringing in late 18th Century London, he makes good and is apprenticed to a river guide. After some bad luck Thornhill is transported to New South Wales where he makes a life for himself and his wife Sal using his boating skills.

Eking out an existence on Hawkesbury River, Thornhill has a dream, and we want to see that dream fulfilled and the only thing he sees that may take that dream away from him is the threat of the indigenous population. It is a testament to Grenville that she makes you empathise with Thornhill as aggressor, at the same time the reader is completely aware of the injustice that is about to take place.

A book every Australian school child should read. It highlights the issues of Australia’s colonial history from the most intimate level. This may be the only text book needed for the new national curriculum.
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