What can I say about The Thorn Birds? Chances are, you have already read this many times over. But if you haven’t, you don’t want to miss this classic masterpiece. This is one epic that will keep you hooked long after you finish reading it.
The Thorn Birds is about love, ambition, avarice and the mad hope that makes life livable for most of us. The Clearys are a large Irish family who move to the Australian outback to work for their cousin Mary. Mary Carson owns Drogheda, a large plantation and is immensely rich. The Clearys are promised the plantation after Mary, but she does an about turn and leaves it all to someone else.
This is the story of Meghan Cleary and the ambitious priest Ralph. They meet when Meggie is a child and there is an instant connection. This blossoms into deeper feelings and bittersweet love – for they know that this is forbidden. Ralph always wages a moral battle when it comes to Meggie. His lofty ambitions take him to Rome but in his heart, he still hankers for his rose. This is an epic that spans multiple generations.
Generally, I don’t like movies made on books, but I liked the miniseries based on the Thorn Birds. Starring the handsome Richard Chamberlain and a bunch of other big names, it is a visual feast. This story may not be for everyone, though. I have met people who couldn’t digest the concept of a priest falling in love despite his vows. I myself did not ‘get it’ much when I tried reading it in my teens. But I have gradually come to love this book, and I hope you do too.