Skip to main content
PBS logo
Want fewer ads?

Search - The Secret River

The Secret River
The Secret River
Author: Kate Grenville, Margaret Elphinstone
After a childhood of poverty and petty crime in the slums of London, William Thornhill is sentenced in 1806 to be transported to New South Wales for the term of his natural life. With his wife, Sal, and children in tow, he arrives in a harsh land that feels at first like a death sentence. But among the convicts there is a whisper that freedom ca...  more »
ISBN-13: 9781841956824
ISBN-10: 1841956821
Publication Date: 2/2/2006
Pages: 368
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.

2.5 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Canongate Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 1
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Secret River on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
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.
jazzysmom avatar reviewed The Secret River on + 907 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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.
reviewed The Secret River on + 578 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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.
Read All 7 Book Reviews of "The Secret River"

Please Log in to Rate these Book Reviews

Momofsix avatar reviewed The Secret River on + 3 more book reviews
Another great book! I loved the writing, the story and the characters. I also learned so much about Australia and the native people while enjoying a wonderful story. This is a "can't put down" book.
reviewed The Secret River on + 54 more book reviews
I was suprised to find myself so caught up in this book. Couldn't wait to see what was going to happen to William & his family. It's based on the author's family history involving England's penal colonys for convicts in the 1800's: wonderful descriptions of the period & of New South Wales.
atlgoddess avatar reviewed The Secret River on + 13 more book reviews
Although I read this book monthes ago, details still resonate through my head. The characters and the times become more real than generic convict stereotypes struggling in England and Australia. Awesome but sad story that remind us who quickly we can turn ugly towards others and quick we are to push our mistakes under the rug.


Want fewer ads?