The Secret River

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In Kate Grenville’s depiction of Sal and of Mrs. Herring, what do you infer about the women who helped to settle New South Wales? What was Sal’s role, and how did it influence her behaviour toward her husband and children? What always seems to keep her somewhat removed from William? Do you think that it took a certain kind of woman to endure the hardships of resettlement, or did all women of the lower classes have to endure difficult lives? What is the impression of women settler’s place in the history of Australia that you draw from this novel?

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