The Thorn Birds – Colleen McCullough

The Thorn BirdsAn ambitious saga set on Drogheda, a sheep station in the Australian outback, featuring the ill-fated romance between beautiful Meggie Cleary and handsome Priest, Father Ralph de Bricassart.  Although Father Ralph loves Meggie, his ambition prevails, and he leaves her to become a Cardinal in Rome. Meggie doesn’t tell him her son, Dane, is his child even when the boy goes to Rome to study for the priesthood himself. Ultimately, Meggie must decide if she will encourage her daughter Justine, a talented actress living in Europe, to follow her heart or return to Drogheda and be subsumed by the demands of the sheep station. This delicious melodrama spans the years 1915 to 1969 and weighs in at a hefty 700 pages.  It provides an intimate glimpse at life in the Australian desert, and although it features a multitude of characters, it is at its heart a love story about one woman’s doomed love for an unavailable man.

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