2015 Reading Challenge
The list for this challenge can be found at http://www.popsugar.com/love/Reading-Challenge-2015-36071458.
3. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
Reading Challenge Theme/Topic: Book your mom loves
Synopsis: Powered by the dreams and struggles of three generations, this is the epic saga of a family rooted in the Australian sheep country. At the story's heart is the love of Meggie Cleary, who can never possess the man she desperately adores, and Ralph de Bricassart, who rises from parish priest to the inner circles of the Vatican...but whose passion for Meggie will follow him all the days of his life. (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3412.The_Thorn_Birds?from_search=true)
My Review: I thought it got off to a bit of a slow start but after a couple chapters, I started to enjoy it and get into the story. And it brought a lot of emotions for me. The story centers around Meggie Cleary and I definitely felt for her as she went through a lot of tough times. I related to Meggie the most because of certain things. In the beginning, she often got overlooked and underestimated just for being a female - found myself getting frustrated that Fee always got upset with her and expected so much out of her, especially when it came to taking care of her younger brothers. I couldn't stand that those who she truly loved and cared about and they the same for her either ended up going away or dying (Frank, Hal, Father Ralph, Paddy, Stu and I'm including Dane). I wanted more of a mother-daughter relationship since Meggie had so many brothers. Just like I kind of wished that Frank and Paddy would eventually make up to have a real relationship with each other, even if Frank wasn't his biological son. I liked the friendship between Meggie and Ralph - thought that Ralph should have fought more for her, I get that he wanted to stay true to his priestly vows. Needless to say, I was devastated when Meggie married Luke just for the sake of getting married. Luke was the one person I couldn't stand at all. He treated her badly, put his whole life into his job, and used her and married her only for the money. It takes two people for a marriage to work and survive, except that it wasn't so. Which made me feel bad for Justine when she was born. Obviously, Luke didn't care about her because she was a girl and Meggie didn't want her at all in the beginning. So it was no wonder that Justine and Meggie didn't really get along and that Justine always did her own thing regardless of what anyone said. I was glad when Meggie finally realized that Luke was just using her and she finally went home. I only wish that she would have divorced him, but it is what it is. Dane was by far my favorite character because he always put everyone else ahead of himself and he tended to keep to himself a lot (something I tend to do). He also thought that he was never good enough and kept wanting to pay back for it. We often go through times that we feel that we aren't good enough, myself included, and truth is, we are never going to be good enough. It's impossible, but we can't stop trying at the same time. I was upset that Meggie didn't go to Dane's graduation, when he got ordained into the priesthood for personal reasons that Dane had nothing to do with. I was once again devastated when Dane died after saving people from drowning, but didn't like how everyone reacted to it. Meggie didn't want to even think about it and Justine didn't want to have anything to do with anybody. I understand why she blamed herself for his death (I personally have blamed myself for someone's death in my family and it took a long time for me to come to terms with the situation), but I think it would have helped her if she had more people around her and if she talked to others about it. I know that people grieve differently, but it just bothered me a little. The most frustrating relationship throughout the story was the one between Justine and Rainer. I felt that Rainer could have fought harder for her (felt that he played hard to get) and that Justine could have come out with how she really felt about him as well. I definitely feel that Justine should have come to her senses about Rainer before she actually did, but I was glad when she finally realized she loved him and when they finally got married. Loved the ending. So, I thought the story was well written and I would highly recommend this book for people to read. Don't have anything negative to say (remember all this was how I felt at times about the characters, but not the actual story. One of the best books I have ever read.
I'm going to end this here, as this seems long enough. I will be doing a follow up soon about Colleen McCullough and some of my favorite quotes from this story.
Happy Reading and Keep On Writing!