Books I Am Reading Or Have Read: "The Thorn Birds"

I became very ambitious with my reading list for the year by starting out with a book that has been on my list for a while:  "The Thorn Birds".

I knew that this had been a television mini series many years ago (when I was too young to watch such a mini series...), that was originally a novel by Colleen McCullough.  I knew that is was a sort of classic love story AND that it was a terribly long book...672 pages on my Kindle!  Well, I set my mind to reading it and began right after the first of the year.  Because I never have too much time to just sit down and read every day, it took me about a month to complete.  But all I can say after reading it is...WOW!

Have you ever read one of those "WOW" books?  Long after I turned the last page, I was still wishing the story wasn't over.  It begins in New Zealand, with the Cleary family who move to Australia around 1915 and spans the decades through post WW II.  Upon arriving in Australia, the Cleary's meet a priest, Ralph de Briccasart.  He is immediately drawn to the only daughter in the family, a young girl named Meggie.  What begins as a caretaker role (for he recognizes how insignificant this female child is to her family members...) between the two, eventually ends up in a tragic love story.

This novel revisits the age old subject of the marriage of priests to the Catholic church and their temptations regarding this issue.  Although this theme can be found throughout the entire novel, there is also a theme regarding the relationships between parents and children and basically the circle of life.  As the reader delves further into the novel, it becomes clear that there are often times reasons why parents behave as they do toward their children and without knowing why or sometimes even realizing it, the child perpetuates that circle by making the same decisions the generation before made.

McCullough's descriptive passages of the landscape of Australia are breathtaking.  She describes not only the vegetation, but the animals that inhabit the area and one can even feel the misery of the hot summers there.  This novel draws the reader in quickly and keeps them there.  And although one hopes for a happy ending, it is inevitable that this will be a tragic love story on all accounts.

I am really glad that I finally tackled this novel.  Yes, it was an ambitious undertaking for a busy mom and YaYa but I believe it is of utmost importance to free our minds daily by escaping to a world of words and reading.  Books take us on journeys we otherwise would never embark on.  If you have the time and inclination I would definitely suggest you read this book; it is well worth sitting down with for a little while each day.

                                                                HAPPY READING!!!


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