The Secret River by Kate Grenville

Kate Grenville takes us back to the colonization of Australia in this hauntingly atmospheric tale. Thornhill, a British convict, is sentenced to be deported to Australia for a petty crime committed in his quest to survive poverty. It’s a common story for the many people who were sent half way around the world to begin a new life in a harsh land.  

Once the British begin claiming land and creating settlements, they inevitably encounter the original inhabitants of the land, who are understandably unhappy about the newcomers invading their home. Willfully ignorant and resistant to change, the British make it hard for the Aboriginies to accept their presence.  

The Secret River (2007) takes us on a journey through the dark history of these times from the perspective of Thornhill and his family. Brutal yet moving, this book is a reflection on Australia’s troubled and often hidden history. For lovers of well-researched historical fiction, it would also make a great Book Club read! 

For more Book Club recommendations, check out our list of Book Club Favorites.

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