I thought that The Secret River was a brilliant book, as was Lilian's Story, but, for me, this is the Kate Grenville I shall remember the best.
It is such an Australian story, in that it nails small town Australia -the look, the feel, the smell, the sounds -perfectly. There are laughs a plenty in many of the small town scenes. I defy anyone reading about the buying of the bucket not to chortle out loud. The central story and theme is universal, but it is Kate Grenville's skilful depictionThe characters (and that includes the poor Bank Manager's wife) are so sympathetically drawn, and their inner turmoils are described with memorable humour and pathos. It really did make me laugh, and then the final chapters describing the love between the two central couples as they all came to terms with their own ideas of perfection moved me to tears.