The Thorn Birds - Colleen McCullough

Title: The Thorn Birds
Author: Colleen McCullough
Pages: 692
Published: 2003 (first published 1977)
Challenges: Classics Club, Historical Fiction, Chunskter Challenge
Genre: Historical Fiction, Classics
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Personal

Description: Colleen McCullough's sweeping saga of dreams, struggles, dark passions, and forbidden love in the Australian Outback has enthralled readers the world over. This is the chronicle of three generations of Clearys, ranchers carving lives from a beautiful, hard land while contending with the bitterness, frailty, and secrets that penetrate their family. Most of all, it is the story of only daughter Meggie and her lifelong relationship with the haunted priest Father Ralph de Bricassart—an intense joining of two hearts and souls that dangerously oversteps sacred boundaries of ethics and dogma.

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 achievement—a landmark novel to be cherished and read again and again. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts:  There were times I struggled with the reading of this book and wouldn't pick up the book for times, but once I was able to get into the story, I quite enjoyed it.  Since it has been a few weeks since I finished the book, my final thoughts have been lost to the wind, but do remember that once I was getting closer to the end of the book, I really became involved with the story and by the end I was crying buckets.  I can see why people like the book and why it has become a modern classic of sorts.  

That being said, I didn't exactly fall in love with this book and at times felt it too be a bit of a chore to get through and wanted to climb through the pages and shake Meggie to her senses and make her realize that her "love" for Ralph was basically a school-girl crush and not one that was formed through adult eyes.  Maybe if she had gone to school outside of the Outback and in a more populated area, she could have probably found somebody that was more her equal and somebody that complemented her, not somebody who looked like Ralph and reminded of the one that she truly loved.

Bottom line: For the most part, I enjoyed the book but felt it was too schmaltzy at times.  I probably won't reread the book, but if I need something for a plane ride or a beach vacation, it may be a book that I may take with me.  Recommended.

Rating:  3.8/5

Pages for 2013: 14750


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