I never read a book about Australia's beginnings. Gruesome, did not care much about how racism was depicted. But the story was well written and pleasant
Drama with convicts and aboriginals. Honest and sincere, but lacking rythm.
The most thing i liked about this book is the strength of the main character (Will Thornhill). I think that he was not a good or villain person but a combination of two.
It is a very interesting story, I did not know anything about colonialism in Australia before reading this book and I found it fascinating.
I actually hated the main character, Thornill actually doesn't do anything to get the reader to love him. I still don't understand how Sal could love him after all.
The absence of dialogues and the slang made it very difficult for me to read, as a non-native speaker.
The novel starts in the poor dirty streets of late 18th century London. Will, the protagonist is born into a poor family and through love is able to move up a rung to become an apprentice bargeman. Soon however things go wrong and he has to resort to stealing to support his wife & newly born child. Of course he gets caught and finds himself transported to Australia.
Once in Australia the family is able to pick themselves up & eventually Will moves them to a spit of land that he feels is "His own. His own, by virtue of his foot standing on it". The only problem of course is that Aboriginals who had no concept of owning land, had been using it for generations. From here the novel really finds its own and follows Will through decisions that he can't always totally agree with, and yet lead to both a tragedy & him finally becoming a wealthy landowner.
Grenville does a great job describing the dirty cold streets of London as well as her native sunny warm Australia. She is able to turn what is in many ways a morality tale showing how man is fallible & can not always understand how his decisions will lead to consequences into a well rounded story.
The early descriptions of London are wonderful, as are some of the Australian scenes. The book is not a page turner, but is easy to read & has great language. It in fact won the 2008 Commonwealth Prize....Continua