In this dazzling novel . . . Grenville achieves a fine balance of
sympathy for the Aboriginal population of her native Australia . .
-- The Independent, 1/09/06
a vivid evocation of the rawest kind of colonialism -- Waterstone's Books Quarterly
"One of the most entertaining, accomplished, engaging novels written in this country." (The Courier Mail)
"The Secret River is a powerful, highly credible account of how a limited man of good instincts becomes involved in enormity and atrocity. It is, at one remove, a sane and moving allegory of Australian development. It has quiet drama and drama of the hectic ghastly breakneck kind. It would make a fine film.It has the subtlety of being a sort of Swiss Family Robinson saga about the Australian dream. In historical terms it dramatises the settler's dream and it all but climaxes in its representation of the Australian nightmare. Then there is calm and sadness and the colour drained from the dream. The Secret River is a historical novel, full of contemporary insight and it is also a subtle expression in fictional terms of the myth of collective guilt for the fate of the Aborigines. It is to Kate Grenville's credit that she never surrenders her sense of the individual faces she captures as she tells this story. I suspect a lot of readers are going to find this book both subtle and satisfying." (The Age)