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The Lieutenant

By: Kate Grenville
Narrated by: Nicholas Bell
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Summary

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.

©2008 Kate Grenville (P)2008 Bolinda Publishing

What listeners say about The Lieutenant

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Really enjoyed this.

a very enjoyable read that gives insight in to history and what could well have happened

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  • Amy
  • 13-05-13

Great Story

What did you like best about this story?

Listened to this before a vacation to Australia. Loved hearing the historical fiction and feeling a bit more connected to the area.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Paddington
  • 29-03-12

a great story based on real events

This is a most fascinating and moving story set around the time of England colonising Australia with the First Fleet. Based largely on the diaries of a young scholarly officer Dawes, the book starts with glimpses of the snobbery and bullying of the British class system in England and moves onto their settlement of a penal colony in New South Wales.

Kate Grenville writes a sensitive and griping story, the characters are portrayed in such a way that I could see it all happening and wanted to know what would happen next. The narration by Nicholas Bell is excellent. I found the story spell binding. I live in Sydney and to me it was particularly fascinating as for too long the harsh reality of what happened has been kept hushed up with official historical versions. At the same time Kate Grenville balances the harshness with the strong human spirit of a few characters who seek to care and respect others a fair manner against the odds.

I could picture this young officer setting up his hut separate from the settlement at the place we now know as Dawes Point (right beside where Sydney Harbour Bridge now stands) a most beautiful area of Sydney harbour. I am looking forward to my next Kate Grenville novel and I hope that she will write many more. A great read. Highly recommended.

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  • Kindle Crunch
  • 06-11-22

Little slow, but good book.

Author describes details well. Quality narrator. Loved the author’s side note at the end, helped make sense of everything. Enjoyable read.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-05-21

Hands Across Two Worlds

This was a beautifully crafted piece of historical fiction exquisitely told and read with great style and affection. The author clearly loved her characters and handled the delicate interaction between the native peoples and a respectful observer.
How wonderful the Capt Evans record of these first attempts to understand another language and way of life of our native people is preserved And so imaginatively retold by our Author. From beginning to end this book is a delight, in fact a treasure. Thank you Kate Grenville and Nicholas Bell. I love the respectful ending and deeply sorry it had to end
David FOLKES. 5/21.

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  • Karen T
  • 13-12-17

Very disappointing.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Nothing, the story was just plain boring.

Would you ever listen to anything by Kate Grenville again?

Maybe

What didn’t you like about Nicholas Bell’s performance?

He has a nice voice, and it made for pleasant listening, but unfortunately there just isn't enough story for him to make it interesting.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Boredom, couldn't even make it thru the book.

Any additional comments?

Not up to Kate Grenville story telling. I enjoyed The Secret River very much and that is why I tried to listen to The Lieutenant.... It is hard to believe the two books were written by the same author.