Fiction. Literature. Romance. Historical Fiction. HTML: "Beautiful....Compelling entertainment." â??New York Times One of the most beloved novels of all time, The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough's sweeping family saga of dreams, titanic struggles, dark passions, and forbidden love in the Australian Outback, returns to enthrall a new generation. The Thorn Birds is a chronicle of three generations of Clearysâ??an indomitable clan of ranchers carving lives from a beautiful, hard land while contending with the bitterness, frailty, and secrets that penetrate their family. It is a poignant love story, a powerful epic of struggle and sacrifice, a celebration of individuality and spirit. Most of all, it is the story of the Clearys' only daughter, Meggie, and the haunted priest, Father Ralph de Bricassartâ??and the intense joining of two hearts and souls over a lifetime, a relationship that dangerously oversteps sacred boundaries of ethics and dogma. "A heart-rending epic...truly marvelous." â??Chicago Tribune
I particularly liked the strong female
I also loved all the descriptions of the Australian Outback. It made me want to make a trip there immediately. Even though this book was published a number of years ago, the story is still relevant and the characters relatable. Recommend.
Fourteen years after my first reading of this book, my opinion of it has changed somewhat. One of the things I remember most about it was that there was a lot of sex in itâ€”and I mean a lot. This time around, I kind of skipped through all that stuff in order to get to the heart of the storyâ€”Meggie and Ralph. I must have been much more of a romantic the first time I read this book, because this time I found myself rolling my eyes at the dialogue and at how many times the reader was told how good looking Meggie and Ralph both were.
But despite the cheesiness of some parts of this book, the story is actually quite good. I especially enjoyed Justineâ€™s story and her relationship with Rain. However, Luke drops off the face of the planet once Meggie leaves him; I would have liked to have seen more of a resolution to that story. It just didnâ€™t make sense to me that someone like him would have taken Meggieâ€™s defection so lightly. The relationship between Meggie and Ralph becomes almost nonexistent as Justine and Daneâ€™s stories take center stage. And Dane, frankly, isnâ€™t all that interesting!
From my first reading, I donâ€™t remember Australia having so much of a role in the book, but actually itâ€™s almost a character unto itself. McCulloughâ€™s descriptions of the places she writes about are beautiful. The story moves at a fast pace and it only took me a few days to finish; still, itâ€™s not quite as good as I remember it being from the first time I read it. But people change!
A hopelessly overstuffed, flabby book with whole sections (Justine in London for example) could have been dropped entirely. Yawn yawn yaaaaaawn. One of my all time least favourite books.
I have read this at least a dozen times, and still love Meggie, Ralph, Fee, Paddy & Frank. A classic, cannot recommend it highly enough.
A poignant love story, a powerful epic of struggle and sacrifice, a celebration of individuality and spirit, Colleen McCullough's acclaimed masterwork remains a monumental literary achievementâ€”a landmark novel to be cherished and read again and again.
Sadly, because I hate to see any book damaged in any way, this book was also a victim of the freak wave. As it was in a bag, though, only the first fifty pages or so are wrinkled--and that, thank goodness, is ALL!
I'm not too distraught over this one, however, as I stopped reading it once I got to chapter two, Ralph.
I had been ho-humming it from the beginning, really, and had been forcing myself through because it was a gift and I actually wanted to be able to talk about it with the giver (ha ha. corny book joke).
I can't bring myself to go on with it, however. It's boring.
I know it's a super big classic, but my TBR pile is just so huge that I can't bring myself to endure this story when there's so much potential waiting for me.
This review is a post on my blog.
They do get together, but of course it can't be.
Very interesting storyline...makes you laugh, cry, and hope.
The Thorn Birds is a classic epic story spanning several generations of the Cleary family. The novel mostly centers on the life of Meggie, the only girl in a family full of sons, and how her upbringing led to her relationship with Father Ralph de Bricassart. I didnâ€™t think I was going to be as interested in the story as I thought I was, but McColloughâ€™s writing was so simplistic and interesting that it had me turning the pages. The story also took me out of my comfort zone and had me questioning the Catholic religion. I read this with a group of close GoodReads friends and there was some very interesting and eye opening dialogue amongst us. It made the book all the more interesting to me. :-)
I loved the descriptions of the Australian outback - the drought, the floods, the fire, the arid landscape, the sheep, the insects, the dry heat in one part of the country and the overpowering humidity in another - but most of the characters made me feel either nauseous or angry. Only Meggie's daughter Justine had any life about her, and I had to wade through two generations to meet her. All the women are strong but cold, and the men either weak or creepy. Matriarch Fee Cleary pops out six boys, including the obnoxiously nicknamed Jims and Patsy, and one girl, Meggie. Irish priest Ralph Raoul de Bricassart takes a shine to the ten year old girl on his first visit to the family homestead Drogheda, and commences to 'groom' her - there really is no other word - to be his ideal of innocence and beauty. Nothing more, because he's a priest, not a man! (So he keeps telling himself.) Of course, Meggie is ruined for life, and must have beautiful, charming, compassionate, multilingual Ralph for 'her man', and if she can't have him, she'll have his son, Dane, who is like Jesus to Ralph's God - sorry to blaspheme, but I finally figured out where Mccullough was heading with her two perfect specimens of manhood, and the comparison made me gag. Ralph is a ridiculous, overinflated romance hero - part of the reason I liked Justine so much is because she could see straight through him, and called him 'smarmy'. And McCullough leaves her readers in no doubt as to who they are supposed to love, and who to hate - she takes the 'omniscient' narrator to a whole new level!
So really, that's the book in a nutshell - fifty years and three generations of life on a station in the Australian outback, starting after the Great War and hop, skip and jumping through to the 1960s. Meggie falls in love with a priest, various people die bizarre deaths (the wild boar was my favourite), and the women stay strong for their undeserving men. As a portrait - or maybe a landscape - of Australian life, McCullough's book is a masterpiece, but it fails miserably as a moving, believable romance.