The Thorn Birds is a best-selling novel by Colleen McCullough, a renowned Australian author. Powered by the dreams and struggles of three generations, it is the epic saga of a family rooted in the Australian sheep country.
Summary Of The Book
The Thorn Birds begins with Meggie Cleary, a four-year-old girl living in New Zealand in the early twentieth century, the only daughter of Paddy, an Irish farm labourer, and Fee, his harassed but aristocratic wife. Meggie's mother has a dark secret about the birth of her first son, Frank, who also happens to be her favorite child in comparison to the others. The Cleary family moves to Australia in the early 1900s to help their elderly aunt, Mary Carson in running a sheep station in the Outback. Employing on a large canvas that encompasses two world wars and the Great Depression, the author lets the main characters take turns in telling the story from 1915 to 1969. But the heart of the book is the forbidden love between Meggie and Ralph de Bricassart, the handsome parish priest. Interestingly, it is Meggie who makes herself suffer and yearn for Ralph for many years, while he goes on to pursue his great career in the church. He is obsessed with becoming the "perfect priest”, but after his week with Meggie, he learns that he can never be perfect. However, Ralph continues to strive to be a better priest and his love for Meggie helps him become a more understanding one. Theirs is a love with tremendous consequences for the future.
Family secrets, forbidden love, jealousy and the struggles of working in a hard new land intertwine in Colleen McCullough's bestselling romantic family saga making it an extremely fascinating read.
The Thorn Birds was listed at number 64 on the BBC's survey The Big Read in 2003 and in 1983, it was adapted as a TV mini-series that became the United States' second highest rated mini-series of all time.
About Colleen McCullough
Colleen McCullough is an internationally acclaimed Australian novelist.
Some of her books include The First Man in Rome, The Grass Crown, Fortune’s Favorites, Caesar, The October Horse, and Morgan’s Run.
She was born on 1 June, 1937, in Wellington, in outback central west New South Wales. Since 1963, she spent ten years researching and teaching in the Department of Neurology at the Yale Medical School in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. In the late 1970s, she settled on Norfolk Island in the Pacific, where she met her husband, Ric Robinson, to whom she has been married to since 1983. She now lives in Sydney.