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But, as uninhabited as the island appears, Australia is full of native people, and they do not take kindly to Thornhill’s theft of their home.is the tale of Thornhill’s deep love for his small corner of the new world, and his slow realization that if he wants to settle there, he must ally himself with the most despicable of the white settlers, and to keep his family safe, he must permit terrifying cruelty to come to innocent people.
Together, the novel and the play spoke to me spoke to me about the colonial experience in New South Wales in a way that all of my other reading on this subject has failed to do.
It personalised the dilemmas faced by the new arrivals and the conflict between them and the indigenous people of the country.
Searching for the Secret River is a memoir about the writing of Kate Grenville's international bestseller, The Secret River.
It tells the story of the research behind the novel - from the transcript of Grenville's ancestor's trial at the Old Bailey in 1805, to the information that contemporary historians are uncovering about what happened on the Australian frontier.
While I found her journey as a novelist very interesting, it was her struggle to find meaning, connection and belonging with which I most identified. In part one, the reader follows Kate Grenville as she initially begins researching her convict ancestor and his transportation to Australia, then realises that his claiming of land on the Hawkesbury River must have put him in conflict with the Aboriginal inhabitants of the area.
This is quick to read and highly recommended to anyone who loves The Secret River, who is interested in the process of researching and writing a novel or who has tried to make sense of family history. *Excerpts from the play and interviews with playwright Andrew Bovell, director Neil Armfield and cast member Ursula Yovich can be seen here. In part one, the reader follows Kate Grenville as she initially begins researching her convict ancestor and his transportation to Australia, then realises that his claiming of land on the Hawkesbury River must have put him in conflict with the Aboriginal inhabitants I really enjoyed The Secret River, and rated it five stars, so was intrigued by this book which covers the background and process of how it was researched and written. The dark history she discovers makes for uncomfortable but important reading.It would have made the process a little less laborious."Searching for the Secret River has become a classic for book groups, students and writers looking for guidance.Reading The Secret River earlier this year was a profoundly moving experience, as was seeing the superb theatrical adaptation of the novel produced by the Sydney Theatre Company*.It contains sections of personal memoir, the record of the research, and a journal of the evolution of the book from non-fiction to novel.It quotes sections of early drafts and compares them with the final version, and goes into some detail about technical issues such as point of view, voice and dialogue.These things really did happen on our frontier, even if at a slightly different time and in a different place.I wanted readers to be able to retrace the journey I took in coming to terms with what I found about our history, and to see how I chose to adapt it for a novel."Twenty years of teaching Creative Writing in universities, and three books about the writing process, were the other impetus for Searching for The Secret River.What moved me at times to tears, was the recognition and memory of shared experiences.When Grenville describes the Reconcilation Walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge in May 2000, I was taken back to that day, because I was one of the 300,000 people who participated.It also Searching for the Secret River is a memoir about the writing of Kate Grenville's international bestseller, The Secret River.It also takes the reader through the process of turning that research into living fiction - the false starts, dead ends and failures as well as the strokes of luck, flashes of inspiration and surprises.