Monday, August 24, 2009

The Lieutenant by Kate Grenville

Kate Grenville, who lives in Sydney, is yet another Australian writer. Soon, I am going to need a separate bookcase just for fiction from down-under. This story more than held my interest. In fact, I had a hard time stopping, and only a busy week preparing for the Fall semester prevented me from reading it in one long sitting. A good story, well-told.

Grenville tells the story of a young lieutenant in the Royal Marines who finds himself assigned as a navigator on the first ship sent with a colony of prisoners to New South Wales in 1777. His mission, once he arrived in the new colony, included setting up an observatory to confirm the reappearance of a comet expected sometime between October and March. This re-telling of the Pilgrims first winter in Plymouth has a somewhat different outcome.

While not a great literary work, the writing is smooth and, as I said above, extremely interesting. I do want to gather her other seven books, which include a volume of short fiction. Publication scheduled for September 2009, so I can't quote from the text.

--Chiron, 8/23/09

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