Colleen McCullough’s new, romantic Australian novel about four unforgettable sisters taking their places in life during the tumultuous years after World War I is “just as epic as her ultra-romantic classic, The Thorn Birds” (Marie Claire).
Because they are two sets of twins, the four Latimer sisters are as close as can be. Yet each of these vivacious young women has her own dream for herself: Edda wants to be a doctor, Grace wants to marry, Tufts wants never to marry, and Kitty wishes to be known for something other than her beauty. They are famous throughout New South Wales for their beauty, wit, and ambition, but as they step into womanhood at the beginning of the twentieth century, life holds limited prospects for them.
Together they decide to enroll in a training program for nurses—a new option for women of their time. As the Latimer sisters become immersed in hospital life and the demands of their training, each must make weighty decisions about love, career, and what she values most. The results are sometimes happy, sometimes heartbreaking, but always…bittersweet.
Set against the background of a young and largely untamed nation, “filled with humor, insight, and captivating historical detail, McCullough’s latest is a wise and warm tribute to family, female empowerment, and her native land” (People).
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.
"Filled with humor, insight and captivating historical detail, McCullough's latest is a wise and warm tribute to family, female empowerment and her native land."
“Just as epic as her ultra-romantic classic, The Thorn Birds.”
– Marie Claire
"Readers of historical family dramas will be excited to find a new, satisfying book to enjoy while longtime fans of The Thorn Birds will be over the moon, welcoming back a dear old friend. Take it to the beach, on the plane, or the couch, this book will be the best traveling companion of the summer."
– Library Journal, starred review
"McCullough's richly drawn characters grab control of the heartstrings from the beginning...and prove that, even when choices are not in wide supply, happiness is attainable--even if, at times, it is bittersweet."
– Publishers Weekly
"A fascinating exploration of the bonds between sisters and a fine historical novel."
"Vintage McCullough . . . underlines several of McCullough's enormous strengths as a writer—superbly deft characterization; multiple plots that move apace; a warmth and generosity in the telling; and dialogue sharp and, in moments, uproariously funny . . . a meditation on love and the decisions we make that riffle into our future."
– The Courier-Mail
“Lovers of McCullough’s bestseller The Thorn Birds will be happy to hear that Bittersweet takes us back to historic country Australia . . . as clever, compelling, and as down-to-earth as its four heroines.”
– Australian Women's Weekly
“It’s the heartwarming family bonds that will have you passing this gem on to friends.”
– Better Homes and Gardens (Australia)
“A master class in succinct, precise prose, captivating yet flawed characters and an engrossing historical setting…meticulously researched and cleverly composed.”