Sarah Thornhill est la fille cadette de William Thornhill, ancien bagnard devenu propriétaire terrien le long du fleuve Hawkesbury, des terres hantées par le souvenir de leurs anciens occupants aborigènes méprisés et massacrés. William s'est remarié avec
Daniel Rooke était un enfant exceptionnellement doué. Malgré son origine modeste, l´Astronome royal, qui a repéré en lui un esprit hors norme, l´a envoyé en expédition scientifique en Australie pour étudier le retour d´une comète qui ne sera visible que de l´hémisphère Sud. Il est parti vers la Nouvelle-Galles du Sud en compagnie de prisonniers anglais condamnés à vivre dans une colonie pénitentiaire.
Le lieutenant s´installe donc à l´écart du camp pour y mener ses observations. Il prend petit à petit conscience de la présence des aborigènes, qui apparaissent et disparaissent, l´observent de loin ou pénètrent dans sa cabane par curiosité. Il se lie d´amitié avec un groupe d´enfants, en particulier une jeune fille, en qui il reconnaît sa propre soif de connaissance et dont il tombe amoureux.
Elle lui apprend à parler sa langue. Il découvre la nature immense, la solitude, la culture australienne, il découvre avec exaltation qu´il peut employer sa grande intelligence à la constitution de la connaissance de la langue de ce pays inconnu, jusqu´au jour où on exige qu´il prenne parti dans un conflit sanglant.
Kate Grenville's The Secret River was one of the most loved novels of 2006. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize and awarded the Commonwealth Writer's Prize, the story of William Thornhill and his journey from London to the other side of the world has moved and exhilarated hundreds of thousands of readers. Searching for the Secret River tells the story of how Grenville came to write this wonderful book. It is in itself an amazing story, beginning with Grenville's great-great-great grandfather. Grenville starts to investigate her ancestor, hoping to understand his life. She pursues him from Sydney to London and back, and slowly she begins to realise she must write about him. Searching for the Secret River maps this creative journey into fiction, and illuminates the importance of family in all our lives.
Sarah and Jack have never doubted that they are made for each other. But there is someone in Sarah's family who will not tolerate the relationship. The reason lies in both the past and the present, and it will take Sarah across an ocean to a place she never imagined she would be. Kate Grenville takes us back to the Australia of The Secret River in this novel about love, tangled histories and how it matters to keep stories alive.
As a boy, Daniel Rooke was always an outsider. At school he learned to hide his clever thoughts from his cruel peers; at home his parents were bemused by their bookish son. Daniel could only hope - against all the evidence - that he would one day find his place in life. By 1788, Daniel has become Lieutenant Rooke, astronomer with the First Fleet as it lands on the unknown shores of New South Wales. As the newcomers struggle to establish a settlement for themselves and their cargo of convicts, and attempts are made to communicate with those who already inhabit this land, Rooke sets up his observatory to chart the stars. But the place where they have landed will prove far more revelatory than the night sky. Out on his isolated point, Rooke comes to know the local Aboriginal people, and forges a remarkable connection with one child, which will change his life in ways he never imagined. Based on real events, Kate Grenville's stunning new novel conveys the poignancy and emotional power of an extraordinary friendship, and how through it a man might find himself: a story that resonates across the oceans and across the centuries.
A dramatic historical novel set between the slums of 19th century London and the convict colonies of Australia. This book joins a tradition of grand historical action. It etches the intense light and scribble of the Australian bush, making them the backdrop to a story about ownership, belonging and identity.
One Life is the story of Nance Russell, whose life spanned a century of tumult and change. In an act of great imaginative sympathy, her daughter Kate Grenville has drawn on the fragments of memoir Nance left, to create an intimate account of the patterns in her mother's life.
In many ways Nance's story echoes that of many mothers and grandmothers, for whom the spectacular shifts of the twentieth century offered a path to new freedoms and choices. In other ways Nance was exceptional. In an era when women were expected to have no ambitions beyond the domestic, she ran successful businesses as a registered pharmacist, laid the bricks for the family home, and discovered her husband's secret life as a revolutionary.
One Life is a deeply moving homage by one of Australia's finest writers.
With an introduction by Evie Wyld
The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville is a funny and touching romance between two people who've given up on love. Set in the eccentric little backwater of Karakarook, New South Wales, pop. 1374, it tells the story of Douglas Cheeseman, a gawky engineer with jug-handle ears, and Harley Savage, a woman altogether too big and too abrupt for comfort. Harley is in Karakarook to foster 'Heritage', and Douglas is there to pull down the quaint old Bent Bridge. From day one, they're on a collision course. But out of this unpromising conjunction of opposites, something unexpected happens: sometimes even better than perfection.
Dark Places tells the story of this man – two parts monster to one part buffoon – and of his growing obsession. As the horror mounts, we gain a terrifying glimpse of the male ego’s dark side, and of the destruction it can wreak upon itself and others. Yet at the same time Kate Grenville keeps alive the reader’s sympathy for this doomed figure. This is a novel that fearlessly confronts the aspects of ourselves from which we normally recoil. ‘An eloquent, angry and humane novel. . . A very fine, albeit terrifying, writer’ Irish Times ‘Remarkable’ Guardian 'A writer of extraordinary talent' New York Times
Harley Savage is a plain woman, a part-time museum curator and quilting expert with three failed marriages and a heart condition. Douglas Cheeseman is a shy, gawky engineer with jug-handle ears, one marriage gone sour, and a crippling lack of physical courage. They meet in the little Australian town of Karakarook, where Harley has arrived to help the town build a heritage museum and Douglas to demolish the quaint old Bent Bridge. From the beginning they are on a collision course until the unexpected sets them both free.
Elegantly and compassionately told, The Idea of Perfection is reminiscent of the work of Carol Shields and Annie Proulx and reveals Kate Grenville as "a writer of extraordinary talent" (The New York Times Book Review).