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The Touch

(2003)
A novel by

 
Not since The Thorn Birds has Colleen McCullough written a novel of such broad appeal about a family and the Australian experience as The Touch.

At its center is Alexander Kinross, remembered as a young man in his native Scotland only as a shiftless boilermaker's apprentice and a godless rebel. But when, years later, he writes from Australia to summon his bride, his Scottish relatives quickly realize that he has made a fortune in the gold fields and is now a man to be reckoned with.

Arriving in Sydney after a difficult voyage, the sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Drummond meets her husband-to-be and discovers to her dismay that he frightens and repels her. Offered no choice, she marries him and is whisked at once across a wild, uninhabited countryside to Alexander's own town, named Kinross after himself. In the crags above it lies the world's richest gold mine.

Isolated in Alexander's great house, with no company save Chinese servants, Elizabeth finds that the intimacies of marriage do not prompt her husband to enlighten her about his past life -- or even his present one. She has no idea that he still has a mistress, the sensual, tough, outspoken Ruby Costevan, whom Alexander has established in his town, nor that he has also made Ruby a partner in his company, rapidly expanding its interests far beyond gold. Ruby has a son, Lee, whose father is the head of the beleaguered Chinese community; the boy becomes dear to Alexander, who fosters his education as a gentleman.

Captured by the very different natures of Elizabeth and Ruby, Alexander resolves to have both of them. Why should he not? He has the fabled "Midas Touch" -- a combination of curiosity, boldness and intelligence that he applies to every situation, and which fails him only when it comes to these two women.

Although Ruby loves Alexander desperately, Elizabeth does not. Elizabeth bears him two daughters: the brilliant Nell, so much like her father; and the beautiful, haunting Anna, who is to present her father with a torment out of which for once he cannot buy his way. Thwarted in his desire for a son, Alexander turns to Ruby's boy as a possible heir to his empire, unaware that by keeping Lee with him, he is courting disaster.

The stories of the lives of Alexander, Elizabeth and Ruby are intermingled with those of a rich cast of characters, and, after many twists and turns, come to a stunning and shocking climax. Like The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough's new novel is at once a love story and a family saga, replete with tragedy, pathos, history and passion. As few other novelists can, she conveys a sense of place: the desperate need of her characters, men and women, rootless in a strange land, to create new beginnings.

 
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Used availability for Colleen McCullough's The Touch


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

June 2004 : UK Hardback
Title: The Touch
Author(s): Colleen McCullough
ISBN: 0-7540-9563-0 / 978-0-7540-9563-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Chivers Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

February 2004 : USA Hardback
thumbTitle: The Touch
Author(s): Colleen McCullough
ISBN: 0-7862-6121-8 / 978-0-7862-6121-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

January 2004 : UK Hardback
thumbTitle: The Touch
Author(s): Colleen McCullough
ISBN: 0-7126-8051-9 / 978-0-7126-8051-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Century
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

January 2004 : UK Hardback
Title: The Touch
Author(s): Colleen McCullough
ISBN: 1-84413-451-2 / 978-1-84413-451-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Century
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

November 2003 : USA Hardback
thumbTitle: The Touch
Author(s): Colleen McCullough
ISBN: 0-684-85330-2 / 978-0-684-85330-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

2003 : USA Hardback
thumbTitle: The Touch
Author(s): Colleen Mccullough
ISBN: 0-7394-3936-7 / 978-0-7394-3936-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

December 2004 : USA Paperback
thumbTitle: The Touch
Author(s): Colleen McCullough
ISBN: 1-59413-012-4 / 978-1-59413-012-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Large Print Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

September 2004 : USA Mass Market Paperback
thumbTitle: The Touch: A Novel
Author(s): Colleen McCullough
ISBN: 0-671-02419-1 / 978-0-671-02419-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Pocket Star
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

July 2004 : UK Paperback
thumbTitle: The Touch
Author(s): Colleen McCullough Doctor of Neurophysiology
ISBN: 0-09-928099-X / 978-0-09-928099-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Arrow
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

June 2004 : USA Mass Market Paperback
thumbTitle: The Touch
Author(s): Colleen McCullough
ISBN: 0-7434-9287-0 / 978-0-7434-9287-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Pocket Books
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

June 2004 : UK Paperback
Title: The Touch
Author(s): Colleen McCullough
ISBN: 0-7540-9577-0 / 978-0-7540-9577-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Chivers
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

January 2004 : UK Paperback
thumbTitle: The Touch
Author(s): Colleen McCullough
ISBN: 1-84413-459-8 / 978-1-84413-459-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Century
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

Audio Editions

2006 : USA Audio CD
Title: The Touch
Author(s): Colleen McCullough
ISBN: 1-4025-8679-5 / 978-1-4025-8679-8 (USA edition)
Publisher:
Availability: Amazon   

2004 : USA Audio CD
Title: The Touch
Author(s): Colleen McCullough
ISBN: 1-4025-8681-7 / 978-1-4025-8681-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: RecordedBooks
Availability: Amazon   

November 2003 : USA Audio Cassette
thumbTitle: The Touch: A Novel
Author(s): Colleen McCullough
ISBN: 0-7435-3561-8 / 978-0-7435-3561-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   

November 2003 : USA Audio CD
thumbTitle: The Touch: A Novel
Author(s): Colleen McCullough
ISBN: 0-7435-3562-6 / 978-0-7435-3562-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

February 2012 : UK Kindle edition
thumbTitle: The Touch
Author(s): Colleen McCullough
Publisher: Cornerstone Digital
Availability: Amazon UK   

November 2003 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumbTitle: The Touch: A Novel
Author(s): Colleen McCullough
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


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