This is a generational story of the Cleary family. With Irish roots, they settled in New Zealand and got in to sheep shearing. The family was large with many boys and one girl, Meggie, who just barely made ends meet. The eldest Cleary sister sends out a request for the rest of the family to join her on her huge farm in Australia. The family moves out there and learns life in the Australian outback. There are many ups and downs. Losses and births. The story focuses around Meggie as she grows up. As a girl, she looks up to the priest responsible for the local area. As Meggie grows up, she thinks there is an opportunity for her to pull the priest away from God but it's not meant to be. Love and heartbreak, this book has everything.
Being an older book, I find this book is very gentle and graceful. It's a pretty long one, and there were some things that probably didn't need to be in it, but the story developed the characters very well. Each character makes horrible decisions, but also good decisions. It's a pretty good representation of normal life.
Despite the gentle nature in which the story is tell, it's still pretty depressing overall. There's too much heartbreak for this poor Cleary family, it just doesn't seem fair to them.
This is true classical literature and I'm going to make sure I share my copy with others.
First Line: "On December 8th, 1915, Meggie Cleary had her fourth birthday."