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Episode 56 - Banner O'Brien by Linda Lael Miller

Banner O'Brien is the worst possible lady doctor in 19th century Washington State, which I guess also makes her the best lady doctor around (but no, she is not good at this doctoring thing.)  Adam Corbin is the biggest assholes in 19th century Washington State and he does have plenty of competition.  They yell.  They slap.  They do it, a lot.  They keep truly amazing secrets from each other.  It's a ride! This book has some pretty serious content warnings - a pretty awful abusive relationship in the past, lots of slapping, disciplinary spanking, racist language and portrayals of racist attitudes towards indigenous and Asian people (the book doesn't condone it but does use some ill-considered words.)  Family gaslighting!  Secret leprosy!  (Yes I did say secret leprosy, keep up.)  It's got a lot going on, but it's one of those "turned up to 11" books where none of this seems particularly realistic.

Episode 50 (!!!) - The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough


You guys you guys this is it!  This is the big one! We are fifty episodes old and we are going BIG!  We have gotten so many requests for this one - we read The Thorn Birds, you guys, and we're gonna watch the miniseries (check social media for upcoming details about watching it with us!) and we got a secret guest (spoiler: Courtney's secret brother Nate) all the way from Australia, and of course it was a whole ass thing.  We lost Courtney for half of it!  It was a beast, but we had a blast and we offer it up to you as our 50-episode birthday present to everyone.

The Thorn Birds is one of those big family sagas they used to love to make a miniseries about.  There's a big house.  There's a spite will.  There's a million characters who mostly don't matter and a million things happen that also mostly don't matter.  There's Meggie, only daughter of the most ridiculously sterotypical Irish family to every Irish its way to New Zealand and then Australia.  There's Ralph (RALPH!), tormented priest and self-absorbed piece of crap.  There's other people who are related to these people but admit it, you're really here for Meggie and Ralph.  

You should not read this book if you're sensitive to depictions of grooming (nothing happens between Ralph and Meggie until she is an adult, but they meet when she is a child and he is clearly obsessed with her and behaves in a way that isn't sexualized but is deeply inappropriate), vividly described marital rape, stealthing (!) by a woman, priests breaking their vows... oh and for some reason these people castrate lambs with their teeth?  I cannot WAIT for all the YouTube comments about how we don't understand that "people were different back then".

Comments

  1. Looking forward to your viewing of the miniseries! After me and my high school girlfriends watched it, we fantasized about deflowering a priest. Then as luck would have it, we all got summer jobs at a fast food place where one of our co-workers was a seminarian, and super cute, so we all set our sights on who would nail him first. Even better, our moms had seen the miniseries too, so they were cheering us on. However I had a decently developed 'gaydar' even then and I was picking up that his disinterest in girls was not because he was saving himself for Jesus. I lost track of him after he was ordained and I hope that he's since left the church and is living happily ever after with a wonderful guy

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