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Thornwood House

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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  2,486 ratings  ·  391 reviews
When you're all that stands between the murderous past and the fate of those you love, how far would you go to save them?

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 Wo
...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)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Kate DiGiuseppe No it isn't the story of a boy hunting and finding a mother and child.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  2,486 ratings  ·  391 reviews


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Phrynne
Apr 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Mixed thoughts about this one. It was a pleasant read and there was a good story buried within it but there was a lot of extra stuff there that could have been left out. I enjoyed the present day parts except when Audrey was hallucinating all over the place about Ayesha and Sam. Apparently she had a weird psychic connection with the house. Of course it was a technique used by the author to allow us to see the past but I thought the diary was a much better way and found those sections very readab ...more
Sharon
Aug 30, 2013 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
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Brenda
The shock of Tony’s death was only surpassed by the fact that he’d left her an old homestead called Thornwood House, located in Magpie Creek in Queensland – a place she had known nothing about until his will was read. Audrey Kepler and her eleven year old daughter Bronwyn’s journey to view the old and long abandoned homestead had Audrey changing her mind – her view that they would sell Thornwood House and buy in their home city of Melbourne was broken when both Audrey and Bronwyn fell in love wi ...more
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
Sarah Ruthven
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 h
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Sue Gerhardt Griffiths
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
I’m participating in a reading challenge with a sweet and lovely fellow bookworm and our July reading challenge was a book that a friend has recommended and Thornwood House was her choice for me and I am so grateful as I’m sure it would have been a long time before it appeared on my TBR pile.

At the start of this year I gave Anna Romer a glowing review of her third book Beyond the Orchard, I never imagined that I would love her debut novel Thornwood House more. This book blew me away, I’m still
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Jenn J McLeod
Jul 09, 2013 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
Natty
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
...more
Kathy
Oct 01, 2013 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
Rochelle
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
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Helen
Sep 18, 2013 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.
Angie
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nicely written tale set in beautiful Australia. Full of family secrets, mysteries, and romance too. Started out a little slow, but picked up and became very interesting. The eccentric characters came easily to life. Will give the authors other books a try:)
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
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Kathryn
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
Donna
Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
This book is set in Australia on a quiet piece of property where secrets are deep and dark. I liked the mystery of this. It had a genealogy vibe as Audrey tried to unravel some family mysteries. I liked her but her mothering skills had me wondering if she was really a mother.

I liked some of the descriptive strokes. The author was creative. Sometimes I thought, "Wow," and other times I was doing page math because it felt long. The author was especially wordy in her descriptions of place. Sometim
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SheriC (PM)
This just couldn't catch my interest, but I'm not sure why. Perhaps because I was so annoyed by the initial first person present tense style in the prologue. I thought I could get past it, but for the entirety of the 20 minutes I gave this audio, my mind kept wandering and I found myself both unmoved and uninterested in the story.

Audiobook via Audible. DNF after 20 minutes.
Chloe
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aussie-author
I really enjoyed this one! Set in Queensland so close to me!!!! ... I loved reading about the country, the towns, the setting - it was all so familiar and not something I get very often!!

I loved the story, the mystery and the twists along the way. A great read from an Aussie author!
Kira
Just before Christmas I brought a stack of books to read over the holidays. Some were on kindle, some were paperbacks. I read Anna Romer's Lyrebird Hill while on holiday, but didn't have a chance to review it properly, although I did rate it 4★. So when I returned from holidays and sorted through the paperbacks I bought, I knew I had to read Thornwood House next.

Audrey is a great character. She's insecure but also strong-willed, and wants to do the best she can for her daughter, Bronwyn. At the
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Stephen Kerwin
Aug 30, 2013 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
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Alaine
Jun 01, 2014 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.
Natalie
Apr 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, fiction
3.5 stars. I found this book a bit heavy on all the descriptions, but enjoyed the story. It was also a nice change to read a novel set in the Australian bush.
Lauren K
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 beautifully c
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Dillwynia Peter
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
This an acceptable 1st novel, but it was flawed. I feel the editor loving mentioned at the end failed in their duty to make this a better novel.

So- what are some of the issues for me: really - one family can have that much drama & bad luck?? Too, too mysterious deaths generation after generation. It beggered belief and I felt I was dealing with a midday soap opera. Next were the atmospheric descriptions of the countryside. There were way too many of them & too many plants & animals mentioned. As
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Shannon
Sep 22, 2013 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
Antonia Jackson
Sep 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
Felt let down even though I read to the end. Melbourne trendy to Qld stately home in Magpie Creek for modern day Audrey. Too much description- like an old Women's Weekly story. Indestructible Cleve through the generations, Luella the 4 year old to the matron, honourable Hobe with 2 children and slow brother- too cumbersome a plot.
Karen Hunt
Oct 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nona
Feb 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: listened, terrible
Could not wait for it to finish. Unfortunately I listened to this book so could not skip the pages easily, but there was opportunity to move around the disc and not be subjected to the repetitive flow of letters and diaries, and the never ending description of insects, trees, shrubs, flowers, skies, water, sounds, effects etc. etc. etc.
So many adjectives, so many descriptive adjectives, ruined what could have possibly been a decent book. The editors did nothing to make this book more readable,
...more
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
Dec 15, 2013 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)
...more
Simone
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Saddened by the death of her ex Tony, Audrey is floored to discover that he has left her a rural property in Queensland. Apart for many years, their only common ground is their daughter and Audrey cannot fathom why Tony has bestowed such a legacy on her. Planning to sell, Audrey heads up from Melbourne to Queensland to sort out the legal and business matters at hand. Allocating only a small window of time to view the property, she is unprepared for just how quickly historic Thornwood House is ab ...more
Nola
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
A captivating tale of mystery and obsession set in rural Queensland. Kate Morton fans will enjoy Anna Romer's work.
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A new mystery gen...: Australian Gothic novel 6 31 Feb 10, 2014 04:09AM  

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Anna Romer is an Australian writer. Her novels 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.

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