I've read many reviews here about the possibility of... um.. "plot borrowing" from The Blue Castle, but honestly, this isn't why I'm rating this book low and really couldn't care less since so many books are written based on ideas from something else. This low rating is for the simple fact that I didn't like what I was reading most of the time. I'm sorry for this since Colleen McCullough is one of my favourite authors and I just expected better.
The premise that happiness for a woman is marriage and maybe having some children doesn't appeal to me, and though this book was a sign of the times (turn of the 20th century Australia), it still didn't wow me with anything that might have been different to the times. Writing fiction should have given the author the freedom to do that, but she didn't.
Also, the ending was very flat with no real sense of closure. No uplifting words to encourage me to think the characters lived happily ever after, and no indication that there was doom ahead. Just... nothing. Again, I expected more from Ms McCullough, and I guess this is why I am reviewing as much as I am when if written by someone else, I might only give my low rating and be done with it.
The upside is it's a quick read and though not a great book, it still shows signs of Colleen McCullough's descriptive writing style.