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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Thorn Birds

Author: Jonathan Suarez

There are many movies and television shows that have dealt with the problem of Roman Catholic priests falling in love, but none have done so quite as dramatically as the mini series "The Thorn Birds." The miniseries, which I recently watched on the premium channel I get with my Florida satellite TV deals, stars Richard Chamberlain as Father Ralph de Bricassart, who ministers to an Australian community.

When he arrives, he forms a fast bond with a young girl named Meg. But little girls grow up, and when Meg is an adult, their relationship becomes much more complicated. Father Ralph is deeply torn between his devotion to God and his deep love for this woman, which he knows has turned into something much more than friendship. In time, he must learn to adjust to her new life with a hot-headed husband, a rebellious daughter and a virtuous son who seems poised to follow in Ralph's footsteps, a vocation against which Ralph warns him.

In addition to the drama of the romance, this story, which unfolds over the course of several decades, also has to do with the hardships of rugged Australian living. We see a horrific boar hunt that results in the death of a beloved character, and other natural disasters threaten constantly. It's an exciting and devastating tale that shows a great deal about what life was like in Australia during this time.

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