In 1806 William Thornhill, a man of quick temper and deep feelings, is transported from the slums of London to New South Wales for the term of his natural life. With his wife, Sal, and their children he arrives in a harsh land he cannot understand. But the colony can turn a convict into a free man. Eight years later Thornhill sails up the Hawkesbury to claim 100 acres for himself. Aboriginal people already live on that river. And other recent arrivals - Thomas Blackwood, Smasher Sullivan, and Mrs Herring - are finding their own ways to respond to them.
It is 1788. Twenty-one-year-old Elizabeth is hungry for life but, as the ward of a Devon clergyman, knows she has few prospects. When proud, scarred soldier John Macarthur promises her the earth one midsummer's night, she believes him. But Elizabeth soon realises she has made a terrible mistake. Her new husband is reckless, tormented, driven by some dark rage at the world. He tells her he is to take up a position as lieutenant in a New South Wales penal colony and she has no choice but to go.
Sarah Thornhill is the youngest child of William Thornhill, convict-turned-landowner on the Hawkesbury River. Her stepmother calls her wilful, but handsome Jack Langland loves her and she loves him. 'Me and Jack', she thinks. 'How could it go wrong?' But there's an ugly secret in Sarah's family. That secret takes her into the darkness of the past, and across the ocean to the wild coasts of New Zealand.
Nance was a week short of her sixth birthday when she and Frank were roused out of bed in the dark and lifted into the buggy, squashed in with bedding, the cooking pots rattling around in the back, and her mother shouting back towards the house, 'Good-bye, Rothsay, I hope I never see you again!' When Kate Grenville’s mother died, she left behind many fragments of memoir. These were the starting point for
One Life, the story of a woman whose life spanned a century of tumult and change.
Kate Grenville had always associated perfume with elegance and beauty. Then the headaches started. Like perhaps a quarter of the population, Grenville reacts badly to the artificial fragrances around us: other people’s perfumes and all those scented cosmetics, cleaning products and air fresheners.
London, 1807: William Thornhill makes a mistake for which he and his family are made to pay dearly. His sentence: to be transported to New South Wales. The Thornhills arrive in a harsh and alien land that they do not understand. When William claims a hundred acres for himself, he is shocked to find Aboriginal people already living on it - and that other recent arrivals are finding their own ways to respond to them. Soon William has to make the most difficult decision of his life.
Set in the eccentric backwater of Karakarook (pop. 1,374), New South Wales, this is the story of Douglas Cheeseman, a shy and clumsy engineer with jug-ears who meets Harley Savage, a woman who is known for being rather large and abrupt. Douglas is there to pull down a quaint old bridge, and Harley aims to foster heritage. They are clearly on a collision course - but when they meet they are unaware that something unexpected is going to happen....