“There was hardly a door, barely a wall: only a flap of bark, a screen of sticks and mud. 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 modern classic of one man’s loss, struggle and survival in the Australian wilderness, introduced by Diana Athill
SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE
WINNER OF THE 2006 COMMONWEALTH WRITERS’ PRIZE
LONGLISTED FOR THE IMPAC DUBLIN PRIZE
London, 1806. William Thornhill, happily wedded to his childhood sweetheart Sal, is a waterman on the River Thames. Life is tough but bearable until William makes a mistake, a bad mistake for which he and his family are made to pay dearly.
His sentence: to be transported to New South Wales for the term of his natural life. Soon Thornhill, a man no better or worse than most, has to make the most difficult decision of his life.
“An outstanding study of cultures in collision … a chilling, meticulous account of the sorrows and evils of colonialism … Kate Grenville is a sophisticated writer”
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“Splendidly paced, passionate and disturbing”
“This is a novel everyone should read”
“A vivid and moving portrayal of poverty, struggle and the search for peace”
Kate Grenville’s bestselling novel The Secret River received the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award. The Idea of Perfection won the Orange Prize. Grenville’s other novels include Sarah Thornhill, The Lieutenant, Lilian’s Story, Dark Places and Joan Makes History.