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The Thorn Birds Summary
Colleen McCullough

Everything you need to understand or teach The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough.

  • The Thorn Birds Summary & Study Guide
  • 18 Literature Criticism
  • ...and more
  • 30 The Thorn Birds Lessons
  • 20 Activities
  • 180 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 60 Short Essay Questions
  • 20 Essay Questions
  • Pre-Made Tests and Quizzes
  • ...and more

The Thorn Birds Summary

Plot Summary

The Thorn Birds is a sweeping love story set on Drogheda, a sheep station in the Australian Outback. At its heart is the ill-fated romance of beautiful Meggie Cleary and the handsome Roman Catholic priest, Father Ralph de Bricassart. Forced to choose between the woman he loves, and the Church he is sworn to, Father Ralph's ambitions win, and he stays with the Church, eventually becoming a Cardinal in Rome. De Bricassart never realizes that Meggie's bright, compliant young son, Dane, is his child, even when the boy comes to Rome to study for the priesthood. After Dane's tragic death, Meggie must choose between her own comfort, and the independence of her beautiful, willful daughter Justine, a talented actress. McCullough's tome, almost 700 pages in length, details the private lives of three generations of the Cleary clan over 55 years, and paints a convincing portrait of the trials and rewards...

(read more from the Study Guide)

Study Pack

The The Thorn Birds Study Pack contains about 166 pages of study material in 20 products, including:

The Thorn Birds Study Guide

Lesson Plan

All teaching products sold separately.

The Thorn Birds Lesson Plans contain 129 pages of teaching material, including:

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