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Lieutenant Daniel Rooke, a brilliant young astronomer, sails on the First Fleet full of hope and ambition. New South Wales is a land waiting for scientific discovery: this is where he will make his mark.
He sets up an observatory. But his attention soon shifts from the stars to Tagaran, an Aboriginal child who begins to teach him her language. With meticulous care he records her words. He will produce a document—a key to a new language and a new world. But as the words unfold a friendship grows and a new Daniel Rooke emerges. And when he is called to duty, the lieutenant faces a dilemma that reaches to the heart of his being.
Kate Grenville, one of Australia’s most loved authors, returns to the landscape of her bestselling The Secret River. Inspired by the notebooks of William Dawes, she brings us The Lieutenant, a profoundly moving novel about friendship and humanity.