Kate Grenville’s fictional account of the conflict that accompanied the settlement of New South Wales by exiled British convicts in the 19th century.
London, 1806. William Thornhill, happily wedded to his childhood sweetheart, is a waterman on the River Thames. Life is tough but bearable - until William makes a mistake for which he and his family are made to pay dearly. His sentence: to be transported to New South Wales for the term of his natural life. In this harsh and alien environment, William makes his home in ‘unclaimed land’ - but is shocked to find aboriginal people are already living there.
Kate Grenville writes this compressed epic of the unenfranchised with great authority at times and subtle pacing throughout, giving voice to the unheard, while letting their extraordinary courage speak for themselves