From My Bookshelf: Bittersweet

By Lynn Willoughby

Bittersweet ~ Colleen McCullogh

This is an apt title, because it describes just how I felt after finishing this novel.  I loved “The Thorn Birds”,  “Tim” was even better, then there was “Cleopatra” and the whimsical “The Ladies of Missalonghi” by this same author.  This novel, however, was just a long story with little action, a lot of times where characters changed their minds after being set up and described as having a particular point of view.  Maybe it was just the wrong read for me this week.
Basically, it is the story of four sisters – two sets of twins, born in New South Wales in Australia.  The storyline runs from the 1920s into the Great Depression of the 1930s – when women were still considered chattels, but due to war, out of work husbands and poverty, the women had to work.  They had to raise families, learn how to nurse or run a farm, raise chickens, sew their own clothes and become independent.  This is the real story as their personalities, life after marriage and politics only fleshed them out.  
There was a lot of Australian politics here, plus a bias against anything British. Mostly it was about life during the depression, and while I can appreciate all of these it just fell flat as as a typical McCullough novel.
  •  The Song of Troy
  •  Master of Rome
…………….and many others

Who Knew?

In 1893 New Zealand became the first nation in the world to allow their adult women to be entitled to vote.  In Canada, Manitoba gave women that right in 1916.  The rest of Canada followed in 1918 when Prime Minister Robert Borden introduced the bill in Parliament.