A young astronomer in colonial Australia faces tragedy on the ground in this follow-up to the award-winning The Secret River—“A triumph. Read it at once” (The Sunday Times, UK).
A stunning follow-up to her Commonwealth Writers’ Prize-winning book, The Secret River, Grenville’s The Lieutenant is a gripping story of friendship, self-discovery, and the power of language set along the unspoiled shores of 1788 New South Wales, Australia.
As a boy, Daniel Rooke was an outsider. Ridiculed in school for his intellect and misunderstood by his parents, he finds a path for himself in the British Navy—and in his love for astronomy. As a young lieutenant, Daniel joins a voyage to Australia. And while his countrymen struggle to control their cargo of convicts and communicate with nearby Aboriginal tribes, Daniel constructs an observatory to chart the stars and begin the work he prays will make him famous.
Out on his isolated point, Daniel becomes involved with the local Aborigines, forging an intimate connection with one girl that will change the course of his life. But when his compatriots come into conflict with the indigenous population, Daniel must turn away from the stars and declare his loyalties on the ground.