Tuesday Teen Recommendations: The Thorn Birds

Every week a guest teen reviewer shares a book, movie, or music recommendation. This week's guest post is by a 10th grader at the Shoreline Library. 

The Thorn Birds [streaming television]

The series is set in the Australian outback on the fictional ranch "Drogheda" and is based on the book with the same title by Australian author Colleen McCullough. The story tells of the Cleary family, who experienced much grief, a hard life, many misfortunes and only a few moments of happiness.

In 1915, the rich landowner Mary Carson meets the Catholic priest Ralph de Bricassart, who was sent to Australia for disciplinary reasons. Although Ralph does everything in his power to keep the relationship friendly, Mary keeps on pushing the boundaries. To impress Ralph with her charity, she brings her destitute brother Paddy Cleary and his family from New Zealand to her sheep farm Drogheda but makes them work hard.

Mary's young niece, Meggie Cleary, who is neglected amidst all the work the family must do, shows great attachment to the attractive priest, and over the years her childlike affection grows into love. Mary sees her niece as a competitor from the beginning, and to embitter Meggie's life for now and forever, she leaves her fortune not to the Clearys but to the Catholic Church. Father Ralph takes over the administration of the farm, moves quickly through the clerical ranks in return for the wealth and property he has secured for the Church, and the Clearys receive only the lifelong right of residence. But Ralph is torn between his ambitions and his love for Meggie, who has matured into a woman.

The saga of the Clearys ends in the third generation on the farm "Drogheda" more than half a century later. Recommended for ages 13 and older.