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The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
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The Thorn Birds (1977)

by Colleen McCullough

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,9491201,007 (4)212
Recently added byQUIQUEARG, rena75, Mandy.Rasmussen, MDesmond, private library, koharteh, hermionecaroline, jslantz1948
Legacy LibrariesLouis Armstrong
  1. 10
    Roses by Leila Meacham (miriamparker)
    miriamparker: ROSES, like THE THORNBIRDS, is an epic family saga that you won't be able to put down.
  2. 00
    The Loving Spirit by Daphne du Maurier (Anonymous user)
  3. 11
    The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan (Fliss88)
  4. 00
    The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly (espertus)
    espertus: Another well-written historical romance
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» See also 212 mentions

English (114)  German (3)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (119)
Showing 1-5 of 114 (next | show all)
I remember reading this when I was pregnant with my boy and as they pains came on, I was rushing through the last few pages of the book, eager to to finish it before rushing to the hospital! Doesn't that say it all?

A great book on unrequited love between a girl and a pastor. Set against in the rural australia, this book is a romance between a young girl and a pastor set in the outback.
Loved it!

It is romance at one level, but also a saga of how ambitions can cloud one's priorities. Ralph loves Maggie but he loves his ambition more. Maggie while waiting for Ralph to come to her ends up marrying someone else and regrets it.

Circumstances bring them together but they are firmly enmeshed in their choices to come together and years later they realise what they missed out on.

What a story and what a storyteller!

( )
  ashkrishwrites | Aug 29, 2018 |
I much preferred the movie to the book. The book was still good but the movie allowed me to see a lot of what was spoken about in the book more accurately.

I certainly don't regret reading this book, I just preferred the movie. ( )
  zarasecker18 | Aug 22, 2018 |
I finished this epic journey with the book, I started it by watching the 1983 mini-series on a very, very rainy day - what a perfect way to spend that kind of day! (I've never seen the mini-series and I hadn't read the book until now) I had one and a half hours left in the mini-series to watch, but my family felt I had abandoned them so I went home and pulled the book off my shelf. It was a great way to complete the journey even though I'm not too sure of my feelings for the ending? I was thinking perhaps of more closure between Meggie and Ralph, both individually and together...but this was a grand generational saga for sure! I'm happy to have finally watched/read it. ( )
  Penny_Lithoarders | Apr 18, 2018 |
I wanted to love this book because I remember everyone loving it when I was young. I found the characters made me mad. I liked Meggie, but I am not sure I really liked any of the others. Maybe if my expectations had not been as high. ( )
  heatherdhahn | Feb 5, 2018 |
One of my favorite family sagas is the story of the Cleary family, centered on only girl Meggie and her relationship with the local head of the church Father Ralph. Spanning several decades, and including plenty of anticipation, promise, heartbreak, and redemption, this book is another classic to read more than once. The famous 1980s miniseries 'Thorn Birds' was based off of McCullough's work. ( )
  JCLHeatherM | Jan 27, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 114 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (27 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McCullough, Colleenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Binchy, MaeveIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Christiansen, IbTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lagerström, BertilTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to out-carol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain. ... Or so says the legend.
Dedication
for 'big sister' Jean Easthope
First words
On December 8th, 1915, Meggie Cleary had her fourth birthday.
Quotations
"If she was capable of it, surely once or twice her guard would have slipped; surely once or twice she would have experienced a pang of something more than tolerant affection for her infrequent lovers. It didn't occur to her that she deliberately chose lovers who would never threaten her self-imposed detachment, so much a part of herself by now that she regarded it as completely natural."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
VIRAGO EDITION:
Sometimes when he didn't know he was being watched Meggie would look at him and try desperately to imprint his face upon her brain's core...And he would turn to find her watching him, a look in his eyes of haunted grief, a doomed look. She understood the implicit message, or thought she did; he must go back to the Church and his duties. Never again with the same spirit, perhaps, but more able to serve. For only those who have slipped and fallen know the vicissitudes of the way...
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380018179, Paperback)

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!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:17 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The epic story of a priest torn between God and human passion and a beautiful girl desiring only what she cannot have, spanning five decades of ambition, fear, longing and revenge, and set against the vast horizons of Australia's Outback.

» see all 13 descriptions

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