Simultaneous release of the new novel by the author of the universally acclaimed prize-winner The Secret River, The Lieutenant is a major new novel that will captivate readers and continues the author's enthralling exploration of historical themes. Set a quarter of a century before The Secret River, at the moment when the British arrive in Australia, The Lieutenant tells an unforgettable story about friendship, language and power.In 1787 Lieutenant Thomas Rooke sets sail from Portsmouth with the First Fleet and its cargo of convicts, destined for New South Wales. As a young officer and a man of science, the shy and quiet Rooke is full of anticipation about the natural wonders he might discover in this strange land on the other side of the world.After the fleet arrives in Port Jackson, Rooke sets up camp on a rocky and isolated point, and starts his work of astronomy and navigation. It's not too long before some of the Aboriginal people who live around the harbour pay him a visit. One of them, a girl named Tarunga, starts to teach him her own language. But her lessons and their friendship are interrupted when Rooke is given an order that will change his life forever.Inspired by the 1790 notebooks of William Dawes in which he recorded his conversations with a young Gadigal woman, The Lieutenant is a story about a man discovering his true self in extraordinary circumstances.More
A well-told and immersive work of historical fiction by one of Australia's most popular authors. The Lieutenant was inspired by the notebooks of William Dawes, scientist and lieutenant with Britain's First Fleet, who arrived with the convicts who would found the first European settlement in Australia. The story concerns Dawes' friendship with a young aboriginal girl, which blossoms amid the difficult relationships between black and white groups in New South Wales, at least until Dawes is forced to take sides in their growing confrontation. Nicholas Bell's precise enunciation and truly beautiful voice lend charm to this sensitively told story.
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