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Publisher's Summary

Sarah Thornhill is the youngest child of William Thornhill, convict-turned-landowner on the Hawkesbury River. Her stepmother calls her wilful, but handsome Jack Langland loves her and she loves him. 'Me and Jack', she thinks. 'How could it go wrong?' But there's an ugly secret in Sarah's family. That secret takes her into the darkness of the past, and across the ocean to the wild coasts of New Zealand.
Among the strangers of that other place, she can begin to understand. Kate Grenville takes us back to the early Australia of The Secret River and the Thornhill family. This is Sarah's story. It's a story of love lost and found, tangled histories and how it matters to keep stories alive.
©2012 Kate Grenville (P)2012 Canongate Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Kimberly on 10-18-12

Absorbing, first-rate historical novel

What a great book! Read a glowing review of it in the NYTimes and the audio book did not disappoint. The story is a continuation of Grenville's "The Secret River" - also a great listen - and I really recommend reading/listening to that first to get the full impact of this story. What a compelling character Grenville has crafted in Sarah - I rooted for her, my heart broke for her and I was uplifted when she was uplifted. Emma Fielding does a top-notch job of capturing Sarah's unique voice and making it her own - no play-acting here, just real feeling. Excellent all around.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Heather on 05-08-12

Very interesting

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sarah was my favourite character, perhaps as she was the main one.

What about Emma Fielding’s performance did you like?

She had the accent down pat. She was engaging and interesting to listen to.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes. but I didn't like the ending

Any additional comments?

Loved listening to this book, especially as it was about the early days of the Hawkesbury river and beyond. The ending was disjointed from the rest of the book though.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Katie on 12-27-12

Good

I was pleased to come across this follow up to 'The Secret River', having enjoyed listening to it. Whilst it's not quite as good as its prequel, it is still definitely good and worth a listen. About the relationships between the native aborigines and the settlers, it highlights changing attitudes, and just how poor these relationships could be.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Maddy on 10-27-12

A poor sequel

I thought this a poor sequel to the Secret River. Far too long is spent on the teenage passion of the eponymous heroine in the first part of the novel and I almost gave up in boredom. The tale eventually picks up although it lacks the pace and drama of the Secret River and doesn't make up for it in depth.

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By Susie on 11-13-16

Dreary

Pleasant sorry but spoken with undertones of despair when, at times, there could have been joy. Rather a bleak story but made moreso.

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By alison on 07-01-15

OK follow up

I loved the Secret River and was looking forward to continuing the story, unfortunately this book didn't quite deliver, it lacked the punch of the previous books. The story starts off well enough, the characters are strong, but it just seems to lose its way somehow. There was too much emphasis on Sarah's attempts to attone for her father's wrongs. The story had built up beautifully to the point where Sarah meets her estranged brother and discovers her father's dark past, then it seems to rush along disjointedly. Was it really necessary for Sarah's character to travel all the way to New Zealand with Jack, I understand Grenville was trying to "complete the circle" but I just didn't feel it worked. And as much as I enjoyed following Sarah's story I would have loved to have seen the grandchild's character explored more.
That said I still enjoyed it and finished it in a day. The book works as a stand alone novel, but I would recommend reading/listening to the Secret River first as it does help build a picture of those early days of colonisation in New South Wales.
Emma Fielding's narration was very good, and worked well with the story.

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