Having enjoyed The Idea of Perfection I decided to try The Secret River, and found it an excellent read. Set in the late 18th/early 19th century, it follows the descent into poverty and crime of Thames waterboatman William Thornhill, culminating in Will’s being transported to Australia, and fortunately (for him) his childhood sweetheart Sal and wife was allowed to follow.
The New South Wales section of the novel is a reflection of the London opening – seeing roles reversed and the family slowly but surely pulling themselves out of penury in this strange new land of heat and big skies. Their relationships with the local aborigine peoples of the Hawkesbury River provide a whole range of reflections – cultural, personal, political – not just between the native population and the European settlers, but between the incomers themselves, highlighting the range of approaches and opinions across the generations.
A good book. Strange reading it in Iran.
Amazon.coluk link: The Secret River – by Kate Grenville