Books: Shaking the Money Tree

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It can all be traced back to Jane Eyre (1847), both a superb novel and the prototypical romance. The haughty Rochester had to be maimed and blinded before he was suitably domesticated as a mate for the governess heroine. If this deep psychological lode still runs through newly raised consciousnesses, then The Thorn Birds will probably clean up as handsomely as its promoters hope. In any case, its fate will be a barometer of taste circa the late '70s. McCullough has not made literature. For a season or so, her book will make commercial history. Paul Gray

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