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The Thorn Birds by by Colleen McCullough
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The Thorn Birds (original 1977; edition 1982)

by by Colleen McCullough

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,97693919 (3.99)174
Member:sofiemol
Title:The Thorn Birds
Authors:by Colleen McCullough
Info:Avon books (1982), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough (1977)

  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
    Emmeline by Judith Rossner (shesinplainview)
  3. 11
    The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller (shesinplainview)
  4. 00
    The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly (espertus)
    espertus: Another well-written historical romance
  5. 11
    Random Winds by Belva Plain (shesinplainview)
  6. 01
    The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan (Fliss88)
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» See also 174 mentions

English (87)  German (3)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (92)
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
This is the saga of a family living and ranching in the rough outback country of Australia. It spans several generations but the main focus is on the daughter Meggie and her love for the local priest and his love for her. Meggie's love is unwavering but the priest is ambitious and moves up in the ranks of the Catholic church. The story also includes the ups and downs, success and tragedies of the other family members. Several of the main male characters had great psychological insight into people, which didn't seem realistic to me. Otherwise, it was a well-paced, entertaining read. ( )
  gaylebutz | Jul 29, 2015 |
I suppose it’s beautifully written, but I don’t really see the appeal. Of a wide cast of characters, almost all of them either die or waste their lives in unhappiness, unnecessary estrangement from loved ones, and missed opportunities. The kind of sad novel I’m on board with is more like The Age of Innocence, where people’s suffering comes largely from their own highly moral choices (not pride, ignorance, or stubbornness) and where there are moments of perfect understanding. This is all about secrets and sins and debts to pay. Next time I’ll just beat my toes with a hammer. ( )
  jholcomb | Jul 15, 2015 |
Meet Meggie Cleary, a young girl with strawberry blonde hair and grey eyes- she is a real charmer. Follow Meggie through life as she grows into a young woman, adult, and old woman. Father Ralph de Bricassart first meets Meggie when she arrives in Australia with her family. he takes an instant liking to the lonely girl. he takes her to the fair and teaches her how to ride horses. People start to get suspicious about their relationship as she enters... ( )
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  Tutter | Feb 27, 2015 |
Just seems like it goes on and on, and I'm having a hard time sticking with it. Kind of boring, actually. Not what I was expecting....
  trayceetee | Dec 23, 2014 |
ISecond time I've read this book. Read it twenty seven years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter Meghan. Yes I named her from the book. This was such a moving story. A love story with a priest. Show even they are fallible. Twenty seven years ago is different from what priests look like today. It wasn't only their love story but Paddy and Fee's and the love story with their respective children. Very powerful the gift of love in many ways, both hurtful and wonderful. This book shows so many dimensions of that in the many relationships displayed throughout the book. ( )
  bwhitner | Oct 30, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 87 (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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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