The Secret River, a book review

A book review written by Lee Sonogan

Text Publishing — The Secret River, book by Kate Grenville

This riveting historical novel is the first of a trilogy about the Thornhill family set in the last decades of the eighteenth century. It is a story of destitution, a penal colony, the Aborigines, and always the Sea. The atmosphere and characters were captivating. – Tara Rock ( – 5/5)

Really testing my memory, I consumed this book in high school against my will. Then I would not be caught dead reading such a thing with other friends piecing it together for an assignment but I ended up moving through each and every page. There I found a fictional story relating the history of Australia brutally full of colonization. Showing how ancestors here came as prisoners then took over, the main character struggles to make a choice in conforming.

What do good people do to protect their own is a common theme flowing about the forced relocation. The plight of the aboriginals is gripping where sympathy is a double-edged sword. After the land dispute, there is plenty of disturbing scenes I would not like to mention. Then again you can see it in the ABC mini-series made in 2015 if interest in this plot.

Overall the memory remains in my mind that it sits in my book shelf to this day. I reccomend it for a historical portrayal of the time peroid, on the other hand, it is a fairly long not worth it for everyone. The best part of it is how realistic it can become at a lot of points.

“With no one but blacks around him, other than his own son, Thornhill saw that their skins were not black, no more than his own was white. They were simply skins, with the same pores and hairs, the same shadings of colour as his own. If black skin was all there was to see, it was amazing how quickly it became the colour that skin was.” ― Kate Grenville, The Secret River


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