The Secret River Summary
Kate Grenville

Everything you need to understand or teach The Secret River by Kate Grenville.

  • The Secret River Summary & Study Guide

The Secret River Overview

Even a convict had the ability to make a good life for himself in early 1800s in Australia. William Thornhill grew up poor in London in the novel “The Secret River” by Kate Grenville. Thornhill worked hard to support himself and his new wife but circumstances left him still poor. He was jailed for stealing wood and he and his family were sent to Australia. Once he earned his pardon, Thornhill was eligible to claim 100 acres of Australia land. The only thing that stood in the way of his dream life were the aboriginal people who inhabited the land. Themes in the novel include rights of ownership, social class and the desire for a better life.

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