Hello, hello! It’s been a while since my last post, and I apologize profusely for not updating! So, for that reason, I won’t keep everyone waiting any longer. I’m really excited to share this next one with you all. Blog Post #26 is on romantic-drama novel, The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCullough.
This book begins in 1915 and takes place Down Under. It tells a tale mainly focusing on Meggie Cleary. While living a very modest, albeit difficult life shearing sheep in New Zealand, Paddy Cleary, Meggie’s father, out of the blue, receives a message from his wealthy but estranged older sister, Mary, who invites him as well as his wife and children to live on her Australian property, where she also offers them steady work.
Seeing this as a good opportunity for his family, he accepts Mary’s offer. After enduring the long and tiring journey to their destination, they are greeted by a priest named Father Ralph de Bricassart, who shares a special connection with Meggie instantly upon meeting her. From there, strong familial-like affection towards one another that initially transpires eventually turns into a poignant romance between them where Ralph is torn between his aspirations as a priest and his feelings for her. Spanning over five decades, McCullough shows how this tragic love story alters the course of their lives and the generations to come.
There’s no other word to describe The Thorn Birds other than “INTENSE.” I kid you not that this is unlike any other work I’ve read within the genre. It just grips readers by the shoulders and shakes you to your core. There are many amazing elements to it, with McCullough expertly incorporating so much irony and wit throughout the book. I absolutely loved it.
What really struck me as I read was the incredible amount of resilience, strength and pride that Meggie’s character maintains despite various hardships the universe inflicts on her and her family. I’ve admired a lot of strong, female characters in my time, but none quite like this.
If you’re looking for a novel with gripping intensity, do not hesitate to look further into The Thorn Birds.