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This novel about Elizabeth MacArthur brings her out of the shadow of her husband who doesn’t come out well in this story. It is also a novel of today with welcome focus of the displacement of indigenous people at the first European settlement in Sydney and Parramatta.
Kate Grenville is a great story-teller. She shows how well she understands what our country was like 200 years ago. The story is well-paced and the characters credible. This is a work of some fiction,structured around the real history of the Macarthurs. I was surprised that she didn't acknowledge any debt to Michelle Scott Tucker's "Elizabeth Macarthur : A Life at the Edge of the World",published back in 2018. Grenville's Elizabeth Macarthur is different from Tucker's,being more of an imaginative composite. Tucker's is the real person and I would say is the better story. Still,as a piece of creative writing,Grenville's novel is well worth the 5 star rating.