The Secret River – Kate Grenville

This book is a historical fiction account of the settlers going from Britain to Australia.
There is hardly any dialogue and I kind of skim read the book but I kept going because I understood a little more upon my return from my holiday in Australia earlier this year. A beautiful country with such vast distances and an odd history. There are actually many books about the settlers in Australia. I would be curious to read it from the perspective of the first people.
This year I already read two books by Australian writers and I definitely preferred David Malouf’s An Imaginary Life. Still, I am glad I read this one too. The more I read, the more sure I am about the kind of books I love and the ones I appreciate in a way but that don’t quite make it to the best list.

A book about how people become criminals, how hunger can cause one to perceive the world differently and how then, one jumps at the chance to escape to an exotic country far away. Some people went this way to Australia and I didn’t think I would ever understand how they could ‘settle’ these foreign lands and kill those who came their way. Then, I went to Australia on holiday and in the small parts I visited, so beautiful and wild, so far from anywhere in the world, I felt a sort of fear. And maybe I could imagine what drove those people to these ‘settlements’, though by no means acceptable.
There is almost no dialogue in this book but I took away this line, ‘The thing about having things unspoken between two people…was that when you had set your foot along that path, it was easier to go on than go back.’

2 thoughts on “The Secret River – Kate Grenville

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  1. I really appreciate your use of the inverted commas around “settlers” – ultimately, what happened here was an invasion, and the impacts of that echo to this day. ❤ I've got to ask: what parts of Australia did you visit and what did you think?? (I'm a Sydneysider, for context to that question hahahaha)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Sheree, thank you for the comment. Well, it happened, as did many other crazy things in this world. I think it’s what we do with the history that matters going forwards. I went to Sydney, surrounding areas in NSW, and then Queensland (GBR, Cairns, Daintree). A very epic trip, you reminded me I need to write about it soon:)

      Liked by 1 person

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