COVID-19 Response at

Read what we're doing...

The Touch


Product Description
Product Details

About the Author

Colleen McCullough, a native of Australia, established the department of neurophysiology at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney before working as a researcher at Yale Medical School for ten years. She is the bestselling author of numerous novels, including The Thorn Birds, and lives with her husband on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific.


By the time Alexander Kinross arrives in Australia in 1872, he has traveled to the far reaches of the globe and acquired a fortune through good luck and business sense. Finding gold in New South Wales brings him even more incredible wealth. Although he loves his mistress, brothel-owner Ruby, he needs a respectable wife to bear sons. His choice is a woman half his age, his 16-year-old Scottish cousin, Elizabeth. Unfortunately for them both, wealth cannot substitute for love. Two life-threatening pregnancies yield daughters, brilliant Nell and brain-damaged Anna. The plot swirls around the lives of Ruby, Elizabeth, Nell, and Anna, plus their Chinese servants. Politics and business affairs transpire in the background as Alexander tries to manage his enterprises and control the community around them. However, the central plot questions concern whether and how any of the women can find happiness. Loose ends dangle from intertwining plot lines, but fans of McCullough's The Thorn Birds and other popular romances will ignore them to follow the characters through 25 years of joys and disasters to the requisite happy ending.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State Univ., Mankato Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

After last year's The October Horse, the final installment in her series set in ancient Rome, McCullough returns to her native Australia to chronicle the adventures of Scotsman Alex Kinross, a headstrong and handsome former boilermaker's apprentice in Glasgow, now rich and the founder of an eponymous town in New South Wales. It is the late 19th century, and Alex, who has settled in Australia after finding gold both in America and Down Under, can find no suitable bride, so he sends to Scotland for one. Elizabeth, the backward 16-year-old beauty he marries, takes an instant dislike to him: he's no paragon of sensitivity; he bears an unfortunate resemblance to Satan; and neither his brilliance, his money or his influence can persuade her to love him. Elizabeth bears him two daughters-she almost dies giving birth to the second-and forges a deep friendship with the redoubtable Ruby Costevan, a former madam and Alex's longtime mistress. But poor Elizabeth just can't be happy, until she meets Ruby's half-Chinese son, Lee. Lee returns Elizabeth's regard tenfold, but because he's as upstanding as he is beautiful, he makes himself scarce to avoid upsetting Elizabeth or Alex, whom he loves. When he can bear it no longer, Lee decides Alexander must be told-but at what price? Frontier speculation, domestic strife, industrialization, a terrible rape and a brutal murder: all these mold and buffet the Kinross clan until a final, tragic act of generosity promises to end the pain. Though they are frequently at the mercy of the novel's complex plot, McCullough's characters win sympathy with their spirited striving for love and honor. Agent, Mort Janklow. 150,000 first printing; Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club and BOMC main selection. (Dec.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Colleen McCullough’s latest novel opens in Scotland in 1872, when 16-year-old Elizabeth Drummond departs for Australia to be married off to the notorious, talented Alexander Kinross who left Scotland some years earlier to make his fortune. How will Elizabeth adjust to her new life in New South Wales? Will she ever grow to love a husband she did not choose and how can she accept her husband’s mistress, Ruby Costevan? Always at the novel’s centre is the love triangle of Elizabeth, Alexander and Ruby, but McCullough weaves in a lot more to keep readers interested. Sciences such as mechanical engineering and goldmining are described in detail. The emergence of Marxism, trade unions and the nascent emancipation of women all have an impact on Alexander’s life and empire. We are also witnesses to ‘progress’—the good, the bad and the ugly of a blossoming Sydney and New South Wales with all its inherent prejudices, be they religious, racial, political or sexual. The Touch combines romance, historical fiction and family saga with the right amounts of lust, tragedy and drama—the result being a well-told story that will keep readers engaged and satisfied. Paula Grunseit is library manager at SBS Radio Sydney. C. 2003 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors

"Booklist" A fantastic and exceptional saga.

Ask a Question About this Product More...
Write your question below:
How Fishpond Works
Fishpond works with suppliers all over the world to bring you a huge selection of products, really great prices, and delivery included on over 25 million products that we sell. We do our best every day to make Fishpond an awesome place for customers to shop and get what they want — all at the best prices online.
Webmasters, Bloggers & Website Owners
You can earn a 8% commission by selling The Touch on your website. It's easy to get started - we will give you example code. After you're set-up, your website can earn you money while you work, play or even sleep! You should start right now!
Authors / Publishers
Are you the Author or Publisher of a book? Or the manufacturer of one of the millions of products that we sell. You can improve sales and grow your revenue by submitting additional information on this title. The better the information we have about a product, the more we will sell!
Item ships from and is sold by, Inc.
Back to top