This is one of those books that you want everyone to read. I absorbed this over a two-day period in which I didn't want to do anything else. It is a painful read that left me still unsettled at the end. The Secret River follows William Thornhill from his poverty-stricken childhood in London to the life he creates in Australia. Thornhill is a compelling main character full of emotional extremes--overwhelming love for his wife and children, despair at his inability to provide a comfortable life, a deep hunger that he struggles to feed. His story becomes the story of the British invasion of Australia and brings to life the historical struggle for ownership on an individual level.
Absolutely on of the best book I have read in awhile. Very touching book. If you want to read just one great book that isn't "fluff" this is the book.
While this book was difficult to read at times because of the way the aboriginal peoples (like conquered natives everywhere)were treated, and the violence perpetuated upon them, I loved it! I read it over 24 hours, with much difficulty putting it down to sleep. It taught me a lot of history about the British invasion of what would later become Australia, the plight of the very poor in England and the exiled prisoners. It was very well written, the prose and the characters flowed well. So much again for the sanitized version from our primers.
I enjoyed this book since I knew very little about the history of Australia. Parts were difficult, but I expect represented the feeling at the time.