It wasn't until I was about 280 pages into this tale of an arrogant explorer and the woman who becomes emotionally attached to him that I wanted to be reading it. If it wasn't on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, the author hadn't won a Nobel, and I hadn't been reading it for some challenges, I probably would have bailed on it somewhere much sooner. I didn't particularly like most of the characters and therefore had a very hard time caring about their emotional and physical struggles. Still, by the end, I was eager to keep reading. I don't entirely understand what made me begin to care about what the author was trying to say about human nature, love, society, exploration, and the country of Australia, nor am I at all sure I got what Patrick White wanted to convey, but I was glad I stuck with this book long past when most rational people would have simply abandoned the journey. Hmmm. Interesting sentence to write in a reflection on this particular book. This may be one to come back to and see what a second look would reveal.