Shortlisted for the NSW, QLD and WA Premiers’ Literary Awards, The Lieutenant is the profoundly moving tale of a young soldier’s arrival in Australia on the First Fleet and the extraordinary friendship he develops with the local Aboriginal people.
Daniel Rooke, soldier and astronomer, arrives in NSW in 1788. He sets up his observatory away from the main camp to begin the scientific work that he hopes will make him famous.
Aboriginal people soon start to visit his isolated promontory, and a child named Tagaran begins to teach him her language. A genuine friendship forms, and Rooke has almost forgotten he is a soldier when a man is fatally wounded in the fledgling colony. The lieutenant faces a decision that will define the course of his entire life.
In this profoundly moving novel Kate Grenville returns to the landscape of her much-loved bestseller The Secret River. Inspired by the notebooks of William Dawes, The Lieutenant is a compelling story about friendship and self-discovery by a writer at the peak of her powers.
‘The Lieutenant…has a potency and beauty that lingers in both the heart and mind’s eye…an Australian novel that visits a part of Australian black-white history and finds a true heart of goodness there.’ Sunday Telegraph