The Sparrows of Edward Street

The Sparrows of Edward Street A wonderfully witty and entertaining retelling of a little known yet very important period of Australia s history this is a fictionalized account of acclaimed Australian writer Elizabeth Stead s expe

  • Title: The Sparrows of Edward Street
  • Author: Elizabeth Stead
  • ISBN: 9780702238758
  • Page: 354
  • Format: Paperback
  • A wonderfully witty and entertaining retelling of a little known yet very important period of Australia s history, this is a fictionalized account of acclaimed Australian writer Elizabeth Stead s experiences in a 1940s postwar housing commission camp It s November 1948, and the widowed Hanora Sparrow and her teenage daughters, Aria and Rosy, have fallen on tough times whA wonderfully witty and entertaining retelling of a little known yet very important period of Australia s history, this is a fictionalized account of acclaimed Australian writer Elizabeth Stead s experiences in a 1940s postwar housing commission camp It s November 1948, and the widowed Hanora Sparrow and her teenage daughters, Aria and Rosy, have fallen on tough times when they move into a housing commission camp on the outskirts of Sydney, their spirits are low and their prospects few While Hanora copes via various pharmaceutical offerings and Rosy with nothing other than indignity, the spirited Aria rises immediately to the challenge of keeping the family together in such trying circumstances With her endless curiosity and lively sense of humor, Aria draws the Sparrow women into close friendships with other camp residents and supports her family through her work as a photographic model in the city Despite the setbacks, Aria strives toward their eventual salvation.

    One thought on “The Sparrows of Edward Street”

    1. My new 'favorite author! Loved this book.Such a happy, laugh-out-loud-funny, book about a penniless Australian widow and her two teen-age daughters, evicted from their apartment in Sydney, Australia, in 1948, being moved to an abandoned military camp of rows of corrugated iron huts maintained by the housing commission. Makes you sad, but you can't stop grinning! The story of a happy journey from despair to hope. The book presents one unique and eccentric character after another, turning tragedy [...]

    2. What a wonderful story! A protagonist with great pluck! Written with such clever and smart writing, I found myself highlighting many of Aria Sparrow's sentences and thoughts. A pleasure to have spent time with this book.

    3. I wasn't sure if I would like this book when I read the first chapter. Oddly enough it was because of the descriptive language. I say oddly because with Marcus Zusack and Jeanette Winterson, it is their poetic way of describing things that I so love about their work. I think it felt unnecessary and a little forced in this case. However once the dialogue got underway, I quite enjoyed the book. I don't think it was an overly historical book, which was originally the reason I picked it up. The stre [...]

    4. Parts of this book I thoroughly enjoyed and parts were gut wrenchingly sad. Elizabeth Stead has a very unique style, merging historical fiction with humour and wit is a very rare talent. She uses some excellent imagery and unforgettable characters, especially Aria Sparrow who we can't help but fall in love with as we see her strength, resilience and ingenuity, she is the type to do anything for family and these are the types we need to see more of in the real world. Elizabeth has painted a very [...]

    5. After reading the first chapter I almost returned this book to the library but then after reading reviews on and I decided to persevere. And I am ever so grateful for this site as I really enjoyed this book. It's sad, funny and beautifully written. I highly recommend it.

    6. So good to read a story with a straightforward narrative arc, with credible characters you actually care about. It also gives a good historical perspective of the non-migrants who were also housed in shoddy temporary accommodation in ministry of housing camps in late 40's early 50's. Strong female protagonist. A terrific read!

    7. If you wish to view the world through the eyes of someone with an optimistic slant, try the eyes of Aria Sparrow. Aria, her mother and sister tossed from their home find themselves on the edge of a Sydney slum tenement. Forced to endure a life they were not used to Aria starts get to know the occupants and effect them with her unique perspective. This novel takes place in Sydney in 1948 when Australian society was still recovering from the Great Depression and World War Two. This is a time when [...]

    8. I nearly gave this book up as the first chapter did not capture me. Persisitance paid off. Aria, her mother and sister arrive in the New South Wales Housing Commission camp after being evicted from their flat in post war Sydney. The story ends when they are allocated a new flat. What happens to them in between is rivetting reading. Aria, wise beyond her years, is sharply observant, nearly always optimistic and is great at seeing possibilities for fellow inhabitants to improve their lot.

    9. A thoroughly enjoyable read. At first I was a little unsure about the tone and style - it felt a little forced and jumpy. As the book went on though, I realised it was just the main character's nature to be that way. Aria wasn't really likeable in a conventional way, but very admirable. she was without a doubt the heroine of the story.

    10. This was a witty, funny and heartwarming read. I can relate to the era. How poorly we treated our immigrants and down on their luck citizens. We were snobby about 'housos' (those living in housing commission villages). The writing seemed a bit forced in places. I felt like shaking the mother, her character did not induce any empathy. A quick and light read.

    11. Set in 1948, Hanora Sparrow & her 2 teenage daughters have fallen on hard times and move to the housing commission camp on the outskirts of Sydney. Aria Sparrow is feisty and funny and doesn’t mince her words – ‘I’m not sorry!’ Years 8 +

    12. What a lovely read, I thoroughly enjoyed the way the author bought in the eccentric characters of the camp. I felt like I was one of the inmates. I loved Aria, the way she got things done and was so strong

    13. This book was our Bookclub selection. I must say I probably wouldn't have selected it myself. That is the beauty of being in a bookclub. You get to read lots of varied genres. The sparrows of Edward street is a lovely read. Extremely witty and funny and has a great storyline.

    14. Nice storyNice storyI liked this book. It is the perfect length for when you don't want to get too involved in a lot of characters.

    15. I loved this book. Such a great story, so poignant and believable characters. I was disappointed to finish it.

    16. Really enjoyed this slice of life written with humour and grit. And "I'm not sorry" makes a great slogan for those who speak their minds.

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