This is book that I find the need to add to my "favorites" list immediately. There's definitely a reason that this book has become a classic. It's a saga of a book that encompasses 4 generations of sheep farmers who live on a massive property in the Australian outback. But at the heart of the story is the curse of just-out-of-reach love that seems to plague the family. And McCullough, fabulous storyteller that she is, weaves this curse in such a way that the last half of the book keeps you turning the pages to find out if love is to ever be kept and cherished beyond a few stolen moments. This soap-opera-of-a-novel isn't within my normal reading genre, but I have this weird fascination with the Australian outback with its sheep farms and wandering independent souls. I have to admit, too, that it kind of fits in the same delicious niche as the television show Downton Abbey
in that the historical part draws you in, but the love chase keeps you coming back for more ... even if you don't normally gravitate toward that sort of story.
I absolutely must watch the mini-series that came from this novel in the early 1980s. I peeked at the cast
mid-read and was a little disappointed that the main female lead is played by someone with Farrah Fawcett hair
and that the main male lead that is described as someone so universally handsome that it's surprising that he didn't turn out to be a sparkling vampire (forgive my snark if you're a fan of that genre). I find neither of the main leads to be attractive in the least. While I didn't have any actress in mind for Meggie while reading, I'd pictured Fiona as Paula Malcomson
and Father Ralph as Mark Ruffalo
. However, I doubt there's a fan-following in 2012 big enough for a re-make of the mini-series.
This almost-700 pages of this novel is well worth every page. I'm itching to read other McCoullough novels now such as the Masters of Rome series
(would she really hold me through all 7 tomes?) or the dystopian & post-apocalyptic [b:A Creed for the Third Millennium|182465|A Creed for the Third Millennium|Colleen McCullough|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1285158758s/182465.jpg|3035938] (which at least sounds interesting even if it is nearly at the bottom of the rating list for her novels).