I love Kate Grenville’s work anyway, so it was a massive treat to get a copy of this from NetGalley. Thank you.
This is the story of the early days of the wool industry in Australia. Very, very early – Elizabeth MacArthur travels to Australia with her totally unsuitable husband when the colony is still a convict settlement. I guess those early settlers had the choice to hate or to love their new home, to regret England, or embrace Australia. Elizabeth is canny enough to embrace things. She learns to manipulate her husband as much as possible – she’s a powerless woman in a man’s world.
The heat of Australia, the light, the bush – they shine through this book. Grenville is great at conjuring an atmosphere. She is also constantly aware of the impact of European settlement on the Aboriginal communities, reminding you of what was destroyed as well as created.
We should be in Australia at the moment, but the Corona virus put paid to that. This took me there, a little bit.
This is a great read. Look for other books by Grenville, too – The Secret River is another good read.