My Friday Post: The Lieutenant by Kate Grenville

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

I’m currently reading A Room Made of Leaves by Elizabeth Grenville, her latest book, and have nearly finished it. I love her books and as I’ve nearly finished it I was wondering which book to read next and remembered I have one of her earlier books, The Lieutenant still waiting to be read. To my surprise when I opened it this morning I found that it is another book about one of the characters in A Room Made of Leaves. That character is William Dawes, a real person, a soldier in the first days of the Colony of New South Wales.

The Lieutenant  is about Daniel Rooke, based on real events in William Dawes’ life, using his notebooks in which he recorded his conversations with a young girl, Patyegarang, (also in A Room Made of Leaves), in his efforts to learn the language of the indigenous people of Sydney. It is a novel that stays close to the historical events. 

It begins:

Daniel Rooke was quiet, moody, a man of few words. He had no memories other than of being an outsider.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader. If you have to improvise, that is okay.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

Page 56:

It seemed that the natives did not like the surgeon’s music any more than they had enjoyed his performance with the pistol. Their faces were stony. After a minute they took the two pieces of shield and disappeared into the woods.

Book description:

1788 Daniel Rooke sets out on a journey that will change the course of his life. As a lieutenant in the First Fleet, he lands on the wild and unknown shores of New South Wales. There he sets up an observatory to chart the stars. But this country will prove far more revelatory than the skies above.

Based on real events, The Lieutenant tells the unforgettable story of Rooke’s connection to an Aboriginal child – a remarkable friendship that resonates across the oceans and the centuries.

12 comments

  1. It’ll be my next book to read – I’m really looking forward to it. Have you read Elizabeth Macarthur: A Life at the Edge of the World by Michelle Scott Tucker?

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  2. I’m very glad to see you’re reading this one, Margaret! I like Kate Grenville’s work a lot, and I especially enjoy the way she develops her characters. I hope you’ll really enjoy this.

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  3. I’m very glad to see you’re reading this one, Margaret! I like Kate Grenville’s work a lot, and I especially enjoy the way she develops her characters. I hope you’ll really enjoy this.

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  4. That worked out nicely–you being nearly done with one book and discovering another by the author on your shelf! I hope you enjoy The Lieutenant. I love that it’s based on true events. This sounds like it will be a good one! Have a great weekend!

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  5. That worked out nicely–you being nearly done with one book and discovering another by the author on your shelf! I hope you enjoy The Lieutenant. I love that it’s based on true events. This sounds like it will be a good one! Have a great weekend!

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  6. I would probably get very angry at this book. The 56 turned me off…. I hope you love it though. Happy Easter weekend!

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  7. I like the look of this book. I like it when a favorite author writes a new book and I discover it. I understand your joy.

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  8. Because of your love of Kate Grenville and your great reviews of her books I picked up one of hers, Searching for The Secret River. Its the story behind the best selling novel. I really need to get one of her novels!

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