“There was no need of lock, of door, of wall: this was a prison whose bars were ten thousand miles of water.”
Kate Grenville’s The Secret River was one of the most loved novels of 2006. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize and awarded the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, the story of William Thornhill and his journey from London to the other side of the world has moved and exhilarated hundreds of thousands of readers.
Searching for the Secret River tells the story of how Grenville came to write this wonderful book. It is in itself an amazing story, beginning with Grenville’s great-great-great grandfather. Grenville starts to investigate her ancestor, hoping to understand his life. She pursues him from Sydney to London and back, and slowly she begins to realise she must write about him. Searching for the Secret River maps this creative journey into fiction, and illuminates the importance of family in all our lives
“We have had to wait five years for The Secret River but the wait has been worth it… Splendidly paced, passionate and disturbing.”
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“Grenville, as ever, describes an Australia so overwhelmingly beautiful that readers will lust after its sunbaked soul too.”
“Grenville’s skill is to turn what could have been too obviously a representative moral fable into a rich novel of character”
Kate Grenville is one of Australia’s best-loved authors. Her works of fiction have won numerous awards both in Australia and internationally. THE IDEA OF PERFECTION won the 2001 Orange Prize for Fiction and became a long-running bestseller. In 2006 THE SECRET RIVER won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. SEARCHING FOR THE SECRET RIVER, the story behind this novel, is also available from Canongate, alongside her first novel LILIAN’S STORY. Kate Grenville lives in Sydney, and maintains a website at