But I was hooked from the first. Before the book begins, Colleen McCollough gives us this--
There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searchs for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to outcarol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in his heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain ... Or so says the legend.So I'm not hoping for a happy ending here. But I am enjoying the journey! It reminds me of A Town Like Alice in that it is set in Australia, the outback this time, and the time period I've read thus far is the first part of the 20th century. The Table of Contents tell me that it will end in 1969, and I'm guessing we're following generations of the same family.