Sarah Thornhill – Kate Grenville

Sarah Thornhill is an example of historical fiction which feels like a reflection of the reality of the time – although the author’s Acknowledgements suggest that this is a controversial position: Sarah Thornhill, youngest daughter of emancipated convict William Thornhill who we met in The Secret River, growing up on the family estate on the banks of the Hawkesbury river, falling in love with a neighbour Jack Langland and discovering that his mixed race – European father and Aborigine mother – does make a difference in her second generation colonial world. As Sarah matures we’re shown the parallels between the English colonisation of Ireland and the Australian colonies, the links between NSW and New Zealand and the contrasting experiences of Aborigine and Maori encounters with the first and second generation colonials.

Author’s page: Sarah Thornhill – Kate Grenville