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Word Count: 1,412
The novel The Thorn Birds is a very well written story about a family living in a poorer section of New Zealand whose livelihood is shearing sheep The money for the family depends almost solely on the sheep In the family there is Padraic Cleary Paddy the father of the clan He is a likable man who commands respect from his children and from those who know him His wife Fiona Cleary Fee is a woman with a past who loves her children respects her husband but is living in a world that she did not want but accepted it as her only possible way of life Then there are Fee and Paddys children Frank Meghann Meggie Hughie Jack Stuart Stu Bob and the twins Jims and Patsy but the story revolves almost entirely around their only girl Meggie When Meggie was about 10 years old Paddys older sister Mary Carson beckoned Paddy to come work for her on her very large very wealthy ranch in New South Wales Australia Drogheda The family fell in love with Drogheda even though they had to put up with drought fire and a climate that they were not used to The boys in the family lived for Drogheda and were the main work force of the ranch herding sheep and cattle from one paddock to another and working very hard during the most profitable time of the year the shearing season and the most hectic the lambing season Paddy was an immigrant from Ireland to New Zealand and was a devout Catholic along with most Australians Upon arriving to Drogheda the Cleary family met Father Ralph a friend of Mary Carson a constant visitor to Drogheda and the local priest of the closest town to Drogheda Gillabon The rest of the story rotates around the relationship between Father Ralph who later became Bishop Ralph and finally Cardinal Ralph and Meggie The Cleary family lived through one of the
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