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Now, 25 years after it first took the world by storm, 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. As powerful, moving, and unforgettable as when it originally appeared, it remains a monumental literary achievement—a landmark novel to be read . . . and read again!

Topics: Australia, Family, Farming, Epic, Provocative, Tragic, Adventurous, Romantic, Poignant, Heartfelt, Priests, Catholicism, Forbidden Love, Made into a Movie, Adultery, Sheep, Sex, Coming of Age, Melodramatic, Scandal, and Australian Author

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061807091
List price: $6.99
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The Thorn Birds is an epic tale of an three generations of an Australian family. I'm not a fan of Richard Chamberlain so the mini-series was not something I enjoyed. The book is much better anyway. At times it felt long, and it IS a long book, but the story is engaging and I never lost interest in these characters. All in all a worthwhile read.more
It was so very interesting to revisit this book after so many years. When I was a young teen, my mother read all the family sagas that were current at the time. She loved nothing better than a multi-generational story about rich people. I remember both of us loving this book at the time, but I found it offers little beyond a sweeping saga of a family with which I can't identify in any way.more
Dammit... I stayed up reading this book until about 3:45a and had to finish it during today's lunch hour.

I adored these wacky Australians and their forbidden love.

more
Read this when it first came out then again when it was made available for the kindle. Great family saga story.more
Listened to from Apr 5-30, 2012Audio Book - I read this a few years ago and remember enjoying it (so much that I went on to read other Colleen McCullough novels). Since I have a difficult time listening to new fiction titles, I've been going back to the books I liked pre-Goodreads/LT and listening to them.The story still doesn't disappoint. It's so heartbreaking, but so good. It did take a little while for me to adjust to the narrator -- not one of my favorites. It's definitely a long one (22 hours), but worth a listen if you're a fan of family sagas.more
I’m giving The Thorn Birds 4.5 stars. I honestly would not have read this if not for a certain McCollough fan mentioning it. I knew the mini-series from when I was younger and even remember watching a few episodes, but I didn’t recall the whole story and never found it appealing to pick up on my own. Well, I’m glad I listened to her recommendation

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 didn’t think I was going to be as interested in the story as I thought I was, but McCollough’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. :-)
more
Having read this book more than 20 years ago and still knowing the characters and the plot is a proof, that it leaves an impact. The story draws you in and as it moves along you identify yourself with the acteurs. You watch their fate from such a close range, that you cannot stay unmoved. --But you do need a certain romantic streak to like it.more
I read this (a couple of times) a long, long time ago. I am a major sucker for a sad love story and enjoyed it thoroughly.more
I've always wanted to read this book, since the time I heard about it. But it was not until recently that I'd gotten the chance to savour this gem of a novel. The thorn birds is a three generational novel, with engaging characters and a beautiful storyline.Challenging in its thickness and its descriptive writing, it took me several days to finish it. This, however, I can undoubtedly say was worth every second of my dear life. The story follows the Cleary's journey to the outback from New Zealand, after an opportunity comes to them. At first, a mite fearful of the prospect, the family eventually settles down and learn the way of life on Drogheda. From the climate, to shearing to problems such as the overpopulation of rabbits. The portrayal of everyday life in a novel, can be dry or dull at times. But in the hands of Colleen McCullough, it overcomes the said weakness and turns it into a highly informative storytelling. The characters here are beautifully woven, each endowed with genuine and raw human emotion. All the personages - from ones with the biggest cameo roles to even the smallest - are significant to the story. However, my favourite protagonist that stands above the huge cast of characters, is Ralph de Bricassart. A catholic priest and an ambitious one at that. We see his internal struggle for a love that would destroy his ideals in mere seconds when succumbed and his spiritual pursuit for something greater.The reason why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 was because of the last two chapters about Dane and Justine. I guess its just a matter of opinion because I'd rather read more about Meggie and Ralph - who I'd been following so intently from the very start.All in all, this is a novel that I'd recommend without a second thought. Especially if you're looking for an evocative, and well-written book. This is for you. ;]more
I've read this book several times, and will probably reread it again in a year or so. Don't base your decision on whether or not to read this on the horrible Mini series with Rachel Ward and Richard Chamberlain...this is the read thing, not the pablum of that television production.The book is deep on characters and the way of life in Australia in the early 1900s. I find myself caring for the people that Ms. McCullough has created, and am drawn in time and time again to their personalities, foibles, faults, including the inability to escape from that which draws you...more
I saw part of the grainy 1980s adaptation of The Thornbirds repeated on television recently, which was laughingly bad and hopelessly miscast (only Bryan Brown was actually Australian, I think), but also reminded me that I had a copy of the book knocking around somewhere. The last time I read Colleen McCullough's novel was around eight years ago, enough time to forget half of the plot and the florid purple colour of the prose! 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.more
Oh my word. This book was so unbelievably bad. I guess the problem was I began reading this book with high-flown expectations of it being "Gone With the Wind".Well, it sure went somewhere. Downhill. Fast.It literally made me talk to the characters, and not in a good way.Fiona Cleary: "Lady, you have major issues."Frank Cleary: "You have even more issues than your mother."Meggie Cleary: "Honey, get off that stupid ranch and get a life."And last but not least, Ralph de Bricassart:"Stop whining about your stupid vows of chastity and CONVERT TO PROTESTANTISM ALREADY!!!"Good grief, just about everyone in this d*** book needed to be psychoanalyzed.more
I didn't care for this book. I read it because I remembered the mini-series from when I was a kid. This was a fairly boring book and I couldn't feel empathy for even one of the characters. Maybe I'm missing something?more
A captivating story/saga of unfulfilled deep love through three generations of women. The saga is balanced on the love story between Meggie Cleary and Father Ralph de Bricassart, Father Bricassart's Love for Meggie is strong but his vows to the church and his professed love of God is stronger. Meggie must cope with her deep devoted love for him and the hope that one day he might commit himself to her completely. Their story forms the main theme of this powerful but difficult and unreconciled love. This theme is advanced and varied in a wonderful story that spans 55 years. Ms. McCullough's writing style was perfect in evoking images for the heart and the mind. She paints this wonderful story through many of the events of the the 20th Century and describes a unique way of life in the Australian Outback. This is my first book by Ms. McCullough and I plan to check her others works as soon as I can. I strongly recommend the Thorn Birds for all, especially for those who enjoy historical romances.more
5-star review based on reading pleasure experienced 30 years ago!more
This is a book my mother has wanted me to read for a long long time. It is one of her favourite books and naturally she fancies Richard Chamberlain, from the 1980's mini-series. The story itself is not something that wholly interested me at all, but McCullough has a talent for getting under your skin with these characters. In some parts, it feels almost impersonal in the way she tells this story. It is not as if you are there amongst the Cleary's, it is as if she is there guiding you through it. I do not know if this is the norm for Colleen McCullough as this is the first one of hers I have read. The Thorn Birds is the saga of the Cleary family - centring around the life and love of Meggie Cleary. It begins in 1915 and spans a time of fifty years. I don't generally like family sagas they tend to sweep over too much time. Sometimes, with merely a sentence or a paragraph she will sweep over times, often nothing more then a 'by the way, this happened whilst you were away...' but she does so with ease and authority I found it perfectly easy to accept. The endless description about the heat and the dryness, although well written, really started to tire me after a while it happened almost every other page! I'm not very good in the heat, I do not think I'll be going to Australia any time soon!Many of the characters left me angry and exasperated with them. I wish they would realise that they were not fated to be thorn birds - yet always they seemed to think they were already fated and could not turn back. McCullough however writes such wonderful characters - in nothing more then a few words you feel as if you already know them and can already picture them. I loved that.Overall though, I really liked it very much and I am looking forward to reading more of McCullough's books - which I think I will enjoy even more considering the story of The Thorn Birds far from excited me as a whole.more
The Thorn Birds is actually a re-read. I first read this at about this time of year when I was thirteen, and ever since then it’s kind of been one of the books that defined my adolescence. The Thorn Birds is a classic about one family in New Zealand and Australia from WWI to the 1960s, especially focusing on the relationship between Meggie Cleary and Father Ralph de Bricassart.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 it—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 story—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 Justine’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 didn’t make sense to me that someone like him would have taken Meggie’s defection so lightly. The relationship between Meggie and Ralph becomes almost nonexistent as Justine and Dane’s stories take center stage. And Dane, frankly, isn’t all that interesting!From my first reading, I don’t remember Australia having so much of a role in the book, but actually it’s almost a character unto itself. McCullough’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, it’s not quite as good as I remember it being from the first time I read it. But people change!more
Interesting, likable characters. Writing style could have been better.more
I thought this was an exceptional book.more
I'll almost certainly be alone in this, but I hated this novel sooooo much. So many novels base themselves around a character's attachment to a piece of land (Gone with the Wind comes to mind), but there has to be a credible reason for it, and I could see no reason for Meg to be so attached to Drogheda. We are just told she is and expected to accept it.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.more
I couldn't put this book down, what a great story!more
Perhaps not a great novel, but a great read nonetheless. The Thorn Birds tells the story of Meggie Clearly, the only daughter in a large family of boys, growing up on a sheep ranch in Australia. Meggie is unloved by her cold mother and kept somewhat distant from her father and brothers. As a young child she forms a love for the local priest, Father Ralph. As Meggie grows into a lovely adult woman, Father Ralph is unable to fight is growing attraction to her. They begin a life-long, though ultimately doomed love affair. The story weaves many themes into the plot. Family dysfunction, forbidden love, alienation and redemption. Maybe the Thorn Birds is not great literature, but it is a compelling story that is difficult to forget.more
Read this book a long time ago...loved it...a girl falls in love with a priest and he falls in love with her.They do get together, but of course it can't be.Very interesting storyline...makes you laugh, cry, and hope.more
Great book. It revolves around a single family for about fifty years. A young girl falls in love with a priest and he with her, but obviously they cannot be together. It is magnificently written and I couldn't put it down. Wonderful.more
What a beautiful, beautiful novel. Similar to GWTW with the star-crossed lovers, and it even reminded me a bit of Willa Cather's novels, because the land was truly its own character. I definitely need to own this one some day.more
This book is a true classic! McCullough's saga of the Cleary family is an amazing story of love, loss and redemption. The characters are so vividly described that they stay with us long after the book is finished. It is the kind of story I go back and reread every few years just to have the Cleary's back in my life again.more
This book started slow and it seemed to go on forever with a very detailed description of everything. But just stick to it and you will find quite an interesting story. I would have loved this book even more if Father Ralph had returned to Meggie for good and it turned out to be a happy ending. But then it wouldve just been another love story....more
a very good book about a priest torn between his vows as a priest and his love for a woman named maggiemore
I haven't read this since I was a whimsical, romantic teenager, but I loved it then and think I would enjoy it just as much now. I am married to clergy now, so I think my perspective will have changed just a little bit. :)more
Read all 40 reviews

Reviews

The Thorn Birds is an epic tale of an three generations of an Australian family. I'm not a fan of Richard Chamberlain so the mini-series was not something I enjoyed. The book is much better anyway. At times it felt long, and it IS a long book, but the story is engaging and I never lost interest in these characters. All in all a worthwhile read.more
It was so very interesting to revisit this book after so many years. When I was a young teen, my mother read all the family sagas that were current at the time. She loved nothing better than a multi-generational story about rich people. I remember both of us loving this book at the time, but I found it offers little beyond a sweeping saga of a family with which I can't identify in any way.more
Dammit... I stayed up reading this book until about 3:45a and had to finish it during today's lunch hour.

I adored these wacky Australians and their forbidden love.

more
Read this when it first came out then again when it was made available for the kindle. Great family saga story.more
Listened to from Apr 5-30, 2012Audio Book - I read this a few years ago and remember enjoying it (so much that I went on to read other Colleen McCullough novels). Since I have a difficult time listening to new fiction titles, I've been going back to the books I liked pre-Goodreads/LT and listening to them.The story still doesn't disappoint. It's so heartbreaking, but so good. It did take a little while for me to adjust to the narrator -- not one of my favorites. It's definitely a long one (22 hours), but worth a listen if you're a fan of family sagas.more
I’m giving The Thorn Birds 4.5 stars. I honestly would not have read this if not for a certain McCollough fan mentioning it. I knew the mini-series from when I was younger and even remember watching a few episodes, but I didn’t recall the whole story and never found it appealing to pick up on my own. Well, I’m glad I listened to her recommendation

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 didn’t think I was going to be as interested in the story as I thought I was, but McCollough’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. :-)
more
Having read this book more than 20 years ago and still knowing the characters and the plot is a proof, that it leaves an impact. The story draws you in and as it moves along you identify yourself with the acteurs. You watch their fate from such a close range, that you cannot stay unmoved. --But you do need a certain romantic streak to like it.more
I read this (a couple of times) a long, long time ago. I am a major sucker for a sad love story and enjoyed it thoroughly.more
I've always wanted to read this book, since the time I heard about it. But it was not until recently that I'd gotten the chance to savour this gem of a novel. The thorn birds is a three generational novel, with engaging characters and a beautiful storyline.Challenging in its thickness and its descriptive writing, it took me several days to finish it. This, however, I can undoubtedly say was worth every second of my dear life. The story follows the Cleary's journey to the outback from New Zealand, after an opportunity comes to them. At first, a mite fearful of the prospect, the family eventually settles down and learn the way of life on Drogheda. From the climate, to shearing to problems such as the overpopulation of rabbits. The portrayal of everyday life in a novel, can be dry or dull at times. But in the hands of Colleen McCullough, it overcomes the said weakness and turns it into a highly informative storytelling. The characters here are beautifully woven, each endowed with genuine and raw human emotion. All the personages - from ones with the biggest cameo roles to even the smallest - are significant to the story. However, my favourite protagonist that stands above the huge cast of characters, is Ralph de Bricassart. A catholic priest and an ambitious one at that. We see his internal struggle for a love that would destroy his ideals in mere seconds when succumbed and his spiritual pursuit for something greater.The reason why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 was because of the last two chapters about Dane and Justine. I guess its just a matter of opinion because I'd rather read more about Meggie and Ralph - who I'd been following so intently from the very start.All in all, this is a novel that I'd recommend without a second thought. Especially if you're looking for an evocative, and well-written book. This is for you. ;]more
I've read this book several times, and will probably reread it again in a year or so. Don't base your decision on whether or not to read this on the horrible Mini series with Rachel Ward and Richard Chamberlain...this is the read thing, not the pablum of that television production.The book is deep on characters and the way of life in Australia in the early 1900s. I find myself caring for the people that Ms. McCullough has created, and am drawn in time and time again to their personalities, foibles, faults, including the inability to escape from that which draws you...more
I saw part of the grainy 1980s adaptation of The Thornbirds repeated on television recently, which was laughingly bad and hopelessly miscast (only Bryan Brown was actually Australian, I think), but also reminded me that I had a copy of the book knocking around somewhere. The last time I read Colleen McCullough's novel was around eight years ago, enough time to forget half of the plot and the florid purple colour of the prose! 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.more
Oh my word. This book was so unbelievably bad. I guess the problem was I began reading this book with high-flown expectations of it being "Gone With the Wind".Well, it sure went somewhere. Downhill. Fast.It literally made me talk to the characters, and not in a good way.Fiona Cleary: "Lady, you have major issues."Frank Cleary: "You have even more issues than your mother."Meggie Cleary: "Honey, get off that stupid ranch and get a life."And last but not least, Ralph de Bricassart:"Stop whining about your stupid vows of chastity and CONVERT TO PROTESTANTISM ALREADY!!!"Good grief, just about everyone in this d*** book needed to be psychoanalyzed.more
I didn't care for this book. I read it because I remembered the mini-series from when I was a kid. This was a fairly boring book and I couldn't feel empathy for even one of the characters. Maybe I'm missing something?more
A captivating story/saga of unfulfilled deep love through three generations of women. The saga is balanced on the love story between Meggie Cleary and Father Ralph de Bricassart, Father Bricassart's Love for Meggie is strong but his vows to the church and his professed love of God is stronger. Meggie must cope with her deep devoted love for him and the hope that one day he might commit himself to her completely. Their story forms the main theme of this powerful but difficult and unreconciled love. This theme is advanced and varied in a wonderful story that spans 55 years. Ms. McCullough's writing style was perfect in evoking images for the heart and the mind. She paints this wonderful story through many of the events of the the 20th Century and describes a unique way of life in the Australian Outback. This is my first book by Ms. McCullough and I plan to check her others works as soon as I can. I strongly recommend the Thorn Birds for all, especially for those who enjoy historical romances.more
5-star review based on reading pleasure experienced 30 years ago!more
This is a book my mother has wanted me to read for a long long time. It is one of her favourite books and naturally she fancies Richard Chamberlain, from the 1980's mini-series. The story itself is not something that wholly interested me at all, but McCullough has a talent for getting under your skin with these characters. In some parts, it feels almost impersonal in the way she tells this story. It is not as if you are there amongst the Cleary's, it is as if she is there guiding you through it. I do not know if this is the norm for Colleen McCullough as this is the first one of hers I have read. The Thorn Birds is the saga of the Cleary family - centring around the life and love of Meggie Cleary. It begins in 1915 and spans a time of fifty years. I don't generally like family sagas they tend to sweep over too much time. Sometimes, with merely a sentence or a paragraph she will sweep over times, often nothing more then a 'by the way, this happened whilst you were away...' but she does so with ease and authority I found it perfectly easy to accept. The endless description about the heat and the dryness, although well written, really started to tire me after a while it happened almost every other page! I'm not very good in the heat, I do not think I'll be going to Australia any time soon!Many of the characters left me angry and exasperated with them. I wish they would realise that they were not fated to be thorn birds - yet always they seemed to think they were already fated and could not turn back. McCullough however writes such wonderful characters - in nothing more then a few words you feel as if you already know them and can already picture them. I loved that.Overall though, I really liked it very much and I am looking forward to reading more of McCullough's books - which I think I will enjoy even more considering the story of The Thorn Birds far from excited me as a whole.more
The Thorn Birds is actually a re-read. I first read this at about this time of year when I was thirteen, and ever since then it’s kind of been one of the books that defined my adolescence. The Thorn Birds is a classic about one family in New Zealand and Australia from WWI to the 1960s, especially focusing on the relationship between Meggie Cleary and Father Ralph de Bricassart.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 it—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 story—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 Justine’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 didn’t make sense to me that someone like him would have taken Meggie’s defection so lightly. The relationship between Meggie and Ralph becomes almost nonexistent as Justine and Dane’s stories take center stage. And Dane, frankly, isn’t all that interesting!From my first reading, I don’t remember Australia having so much of a role in the book, but actually it’s almost a character unto itself. McCullough’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, it’s not quite as good as I remember it being from the first time I read it. But people change!more
Interesting, likable characters. Writing style could have been better.more
I thought this was an exceptional book.more
I'll almost certainly be alone in this, but I hated this novel sooooo much. So many novels base themselves around a character's attachment to a piece of land (Gone with the Wind comes to mind), but there has to be a credible reason for it, and I could see no reason for Meg to be so attached to Drogheda. We are just told she is and expected to accept it.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.more
I couldn't put this book down, what a great story!more
Perhaps not a great novel, but a great read nonetheless. The Thorn Birds tells the story of Meggie Clearly, the only daughter in a large family of boys, growing up on a sheep ranch in Australia. Meggie is unloved by her cold mother and kept somewhat distant from her father and brothers. As a young child she forms a love for the local priest, Father Ralph. As Meggie grows into a lovely adult woman, Father Ralph is unable to fight is growing attraction to her. They begin a life-long, though ultimately doomed love affair. The story weaves many themes into the plot. Family dysfunction, forbidden love, alienation and redemption. Maybe the Thorn Birds is not great literature, but it is a compelling story that is difficult to forget.more
Read this book a long time ago...loved it...a girl falls in love with a priest and he falls in love with her.They do get together, but of course it can't be.Very interesting storyline...makes you laugh, cry, and hope.more
Great book. It revolves around a single family for about fifty years. A young girl falls in love with a priest and he with her, but obviously they cannot be together. It is magnificently written and I couldn't put it down. Wonderful.more
What a beautiful, beautiful novel. Similar to GWTW with the star-crossed lovers, and it even reminded me a bit of Willa Cather's novels, because the land was truly its own character. I definitely need to own this one some day.more
This book is a true classic! McCullough's saga of the Cleary family is an amazing story of love, loss and redemption. The characters are so vividly described that they stay with us long after the book is finished. It is the kind of story I go back and reread every few years just to have the Cleary's back in my life again.more
This book started slow and it seemed to go on forever with a very detailed description of everything. But just stick to it and you will find quite an interesting story. I would have loved this book even more if Father Ralph had returned to Meggie for good and it turned out to be a happy ending. But then it wouldve just been another love story....more
a very good book about a priest torn between his vows as a priest and his love for a woman named maggiemore
I haven't read this since I was a whimsical, romantic teenager, but I loved it then and think I would enjoy it just as much now. I am married to clergy now, so I think my perspective will have changed just a little bit. :)more
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