''The Secret River'' by Kate Grenville is a historical novel set mostly in Victorian Australia, following the life of William Thornhill, a desperately poor man who stole to survive and was eventually convicted, deported and became a settler at British colony of New South Wales (Sydney). The novel focuses on the effect of colonialism on Australian native people (Aborigines) and how the conflict between the settlers and the natives came about.

!!This book provides examples of :

* CrapsackWorld: Thornhill's world never stays happy for long.
* CycleOfRevenge
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler: Thornhill]], depending on what you think of him to start with.
* {{Foil}}: Blackwood becomes a heroic foil to Thornhill.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: The book's full of it.
* HeelRealisation: A halfway one. [[spoiler: Thornhill]] realizes that what he is doing is evil, but in the same paragraph says he is "not an evil man".
* ObviouslyEvil: When we are introduced to Smasher Sullivan, he is standing by the body of a man he killed for stealing a cob of his corn.
* PurpleProse: {{Parodied}} with the letter to Lord Hawkesbury and with Loveday. Played straight a lot.
* SettlingTheFrontier: With an emphasis on how the settlers interacted with the native population.
* VillainProtagonist: Thornhill [[spoiler: by the end]].