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'Winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize and Australian Book Industry Awards, Book of the Year. After a childhood of poverty and petty crime in the slums of London, William Thornhill is 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 can be bought, an opportunity to start afresh. As Thornhill stakes his claim on a patch of ground by the Hawkesbury River, the battle lines between the old and new inhabitants are drawn. Inspired by research into her own family history, Kate Grenville vividly creates the reality of settler life, its longings, dangers and dilemmas. The Secret River is a groundbreaking story about identity, belonging and ownership. There is no doubt Grenville is one of our greatest writers. A book everyone should read. It is evocative, gracefully written, terrible and confronting. And it has resonance for ever'.