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The Lieutenant
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Intellectually gifted but socially awkward, Portsmouth schoolboy Daniel Rooke routinely isolates himself from his peers to explore the mechanisms of logic, arithmetic, and Greek. When a mentor recognizes his potential and introduces him to the study of astronomy, Rooke believes that he has found his place and purpose in life. He volunteers for the marines and signs on as an astronomer with the First Fleet sailing to New South Wales in 1788. After his astronomical studies falter in Australia, Rooke becomes friendly with a group of Aboriginals, attempting to learn and transcribe their language. The bond he forms with a girl named Tagaran-who reminds him of his younger sister-takes Rooke by surprise and leads to an unexpected turning point in his life. Verdict Rooke is a genuine, sensitive protagonist, and this new novel offers a more intimate and optimistic perspective of Australian history than Grenville's award-winning epic, The Secret River. Grenville displays a graceful touch with the characters and the history that so clearly move her, and her writing sparkles with life. Highly recommended for readers of literary fiction. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/09.]-Kelsy Peterson, Johnson County Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, KS Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Promotional Information

The bestselling new novel from the author of the Booker-shortlisted The Secret River This engrossing story evokes the excitement of discovery and the beauty of an unspoilt land. - Anthony Gardner, Scottish Daily Mail

About the Author

Kate Grenville is one of Australia's best-loved authors. Her works of fiction have won numerous awards both in Australia and internationally. The Idea of Perfection won the 2001 Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction and became a long-running bestseller. In 2006 The Secret River won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Searching For The Secret River, the story behind that novel, is also available from Canongate, alongside her first novel, Lilian's Story. Kate Grenville lives in Sydney. www.kategrenville.com

Reviews

Intellectually gifted but socially awkward, Portsmouth schoolboy Daniel Rooke routinely isolates himself from his peers to explore the mechanisms of logic, arithmetic, and Greek. When a mentor recognizes his potential and introduces him to the study of astronomy, Rooke believes that he has found his place and purpose in life. He volunteers for the marines and signs on as an astronomer with the First Fleet sailing to New South Wales in 1788. After his astronomical studies falter in Australia, Rooke becomes friendly with a group of Aboriginals, attempting to learn and transcribe their language. The bond he forms with a girl named Tagaran-who reminds him of his younger sister-takes Rooke by surprise and leads to an unexpected turning point in his life. Verdict Rooke is a genuine, sensitive protagonist, and this new novel offers a more intimate and optimistic perspective of Australian history than Grenville's award-winning epic, The Secret River. Grenville displays a graceful touch with the characters and the history that so clearly move her, and her writing sparkles with life. Highly recommended for readers of literary fiction. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/09.]-Kelsy Peterson, Johnson County Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, KS Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

* A deft historical tale of discovery ... [Dawes'] qualities shine lambently through Grenville's elegantly calibrated prose ... The lasting impression of her novel is not of drama, but of a lovely, watchful stillness: a sort of astronomy of the human heart -- Jane Shilling Sunday Telegraph 20090125 * Grenville inhabits characters with a rare completeness ... the reader shares the excitement of his widening consciousness ... Grenville writers with a poet's sense of rhythm and imagery ... [and] explores the natural rifts that arise between settlers and native people with a deep understanding of the ambiguities inherent in such conflicts. She occupies the mind of Rooke with a kind of vivid insistence, and his isolation - and moral dilemmas - become ours. -- Jay Parini Guardian 20090131 * Grenville is one of Australia's most popular writers, and this novel is a triumph. Read it at once. The Times * In lucid prose and perfectly measured strides, Grenville lays down her riveting tale. A novel aglow with empathy, its author's capacious visions still deliver an elemental thrill. -- Stephanie Cross Daily Mail 20090130 * Grenville's prose is clear and clean, employing a gently leading storytelling style that is especially welcome with a foreign land and a foreign time ... Grenville has brought imagination and compassion to the source of so much of Australia's retroactive hand-wringing. What distinguishes her portrayal of Aboriginal culture is that or once appreciation, sympathy and admiration get the better of impotent guilt. -- Lionel Shriver Daily Telegraph * A compelling narrative ... an intelligent, spare, always engrossing imagining of first contact, in which the fictionalization of history allows a comment about current postcolonial race relationships which escapes the didacticism of special pleading. -- Patrick Denman Flanery Times Literary Supplement 20090130 * Grenville lingers carefully over her exposition of Rooke, setting him up as a singular character. This enhances the drama of the book's later pages, in which his sensibilities are so disastrously different to those of his shipmates... Genuinely affecting, her new novel is another capable tranche of character-based, historical fiction and a worthy foil to its predecessor. -- Melissa McClements Financial Times 20090131 * A particular kind of stillness marks Kate Grenville's characters out as uniquely hers ... Between the words and among them, this is a profoundly uplifting novel - one that leaves you understanding Rooke's premise: that "Truth [needs] hundreds of words, or none." Independent * In this novel, morally troubling issues of exploitation and hypocrisy carry reverberations well beyond the convincingly portrayed historical moment. Sunday Telegraph * This engrossing story evokes the excitement of discovery and the beauty of an unspoilt land. -- Anthony Gardner Scottish Daily Mail 20090208 * Grenville masterfully depicts the brutal simplicity of the early settlers' life in New South Wales ... through Rooke's peaceable, curious character, the moral tragedy of the Aboriginal compromise and the cowardice of the collective are neatly wrought. Grenville has stuck to what she knows, but she has done it well. -- Renee Rowland The Skinny 20090201 * A more overtly political book than Grenville's last, but beautifully wrought. Psychologies 20090301 * Grenville's novel is much more than just another culture-clash novel. She deftly avoids worthiness by making the idealistic Rooke the heart and soul of her story, making us want to believe that his appreciation of the indigenous Australians will continue and that dark clouds won't gather over this alien paradise. When they do, the novel becomes all the more disquieting, for this story is as much a personal tragedy as it is a cultural one. -- Jonathan Eyers Metro 20090225 * Writing in a clear, simple style, Grenville elegantly evokes the wonder and tension inherent in the first meetings between these two different worlds. -- Natasha Tripney Observer 20100124 * The Lieutenant is a lovely example of historical fiction at its best: complex, demanding, and always revealing. Independent on Sunday 20100207 * A Vividly transporting tale about one of the first expeditions to arrive in New South Wales ... The deft, lucid prose of Grenville captures a sense of the simple wonders of communication and the grim impact of colonialism. Metro 20100204 * The Lieutenant is a fast, enthralling read, peopled with lively characters, derived from historical research. Irish Times

Grenville (The Secret River) delivers another vivid novel about the British colonization of Australia, this one a delightful fictionalization of the life of William Dawes, a soldier-scholar who sailed from England in 1788 with the first fleet to transport British prisoners to New South Wales. Dawes's stand-in is Daniel Rooke, a loner with a passion for mathematics and astronomy who makes a living as a marine. He joins the expedition with the hope of tracking a comet that will not be visible from Great Britain, building a makeshift hut and observatory separate from the settlement (largely so he can avoid his prison guard duties). Although food is insufficient and the marines are outnumbered by the convicts, there is little unrest, but while Daniel shifts his ambitions from identifying previously unnamed stars to discovering a language and culture unknown in England, tensions escalate between the newcomers and the Aborigines, forcing Daniel to choose between duty to his king and loyalty to a land and people he has come to love. Grenville's storytelling shines: the backdrop is lush and Daniel is a wonderful creation-a conflicted, curious and endearing eccentric. (Sept.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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