The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

I cannot believe this book did not win a Pulitzer prize. I CAN NOT.
I know I’m no critic and I’m no expert literary judge, but this book has everything in it that an award winning book should have: Climate, landscape, family saga, a long, sprawling, three generational epic, war, religion, tragedy. The list goes on.
I looked up to see what other awards the book DID win and all I found were Emmy and Golden Globe awards for the 1983 TV mini series.

This book was so much more than I thought it would be. I knew it was beloved by many, but all I knew about the story was that a Priest was in love with a woman and at some point they consummated their relationship. I assumed this was an on-going affair and he kept this all a secret because he would have lost his ministry. I probably gathered these thoughts from seeing glimpses of previews for the TV series as a young teen. (I never watched it but my mom did. hehe ) Anyway, the whole story is so much richer and deeper and less scandalous than what I had imagined it to be for all these years.

I would describe this whole book as beautiful. Not everything that happens, and not every character, but the story as a whole, is just BEAUTIFUL. It is one of my favorite books I’ve read this year.

When I read The Prince of Tides several years ago, I had the same thoughts about it deserving an award. I looked up what book actually won the Pulitzer that year, and it was Lonesome Dove. You better believe that went right on my TBR. (To Be Read pile) When I didn’t find any literary awards for The Thorn Birds, again, I looked up to see what actually DID win the Pulitzer in 1977. Turns out there was no prize for fiction that year. Sometimes there isn’t one. But they did have a category for “Winners in Special Citations and Awards.” Guess what it was?
And yes, I’ve had that one on Audible for a few years now. I’ll be getting to that one as well.
I have a lot of good reading in my future.

**I read The Thorn Birds as part of Roof Beam Reader’s 2022 TBR Pile Challenge.
Next up to read: Uncle Tom’s Cabin.


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