by Colleen McCullough
Category: Fiction / Historical
520 pages; ISBN: 119294
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Lisa Cannon
Following in the footsteps of his namesake Alexander the Great, Alexander Kinross flees his native Scotland under a cloud of secrets and shame to travel the world only to find fortune on the goldfields of San Francisco.
Immigrating to Australia with every intention of increasing his riches and becoming a man of great power, he writes to relatives in his native Scotland to summon for a bride.
Sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Drummond had never before met her cousin, and when her feet touch the soil of Sydney she is shocked and repelled by the man who will become her husband.
Marrying quickly, Alexander takes Elizabeth deeper into Australia to a town he has built and named after himself. He shows her to her new home, a big house on an empty mountain he has built just for her, and before long she finds herself isolated with only her Chinese servants for company.
Thrust into a world of riches and extravagance that neither impress nor satisfy the small-town Scot, Elizabeth realises she is bound to a life of emptiness.
Knowing his wife will never see the intimacies of marriage as more than a duty all women must abide, Alexander takes up with his pre-marriage lover, tough, outspoken Ruby Costeven. In order to safeguard the secret of his shameful affair with the former whore-house proprietor, Alexander forbids his new bride to venture into the town.
Despite her reluctance to indulge in the bedroom antics of marriage, Alexander, intent on producing an heir to take-over the golden empire he has built for himself, twice father’s children with Elizabeth with devastating consequences.
A compelling world of murderous guile and sinister ambitions quickly unravels, and in a world where women are stood upon by the boots of powerful men, obstacles must be overcome in order for aspirations, love and freedom to survive.
Written in a language suited perfectly to the era, Colleen McCullough, international author of the Thorn birds, shows us once again why she is a record breaking best seller. THE TOUCH is written with the knowledge of an historian without the pompous over-use of profound knowledge and the heart of a gifted novelist. This late nineteenth century story takes the reader back to a time where women were seen to be married and bred, men to rule the world and rules to be broken forever.