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Kate Grenville, The Secret River

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Feb. 3rd, 2007 | 08:17 pm

Kate Grenville, The Secret River

I'd read Kate Grenville's The Idea of Perfection a while back, and hadn't liked it much. This is in another league. It's the story of William Thornhill, an impoverished Londoner transported with wife and child to Australia in the early nineteenth-century, and the clash of civilizations that follows as he attempts to claim a piece of land for his own. It's very well-written - occasional lapses into a modern sensibility - and one or two very effective set-pieces. The image of the child's starfish palm will really stick in my mind.

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