The Sparrows of Edward Street
by Elizabeth Stead
University of Queensland Press, $32.95 pb, 288 pp, 9780702238758
Elizabeth Stead’s fifth novel is set in 1948, when newly independent women, who kept the wheels of industry turning during World War II, were resuming full-time household duties. Stead, who married a naval officer in the 1950s, would have seen this domestic dynamic played out around her. The Sparrows of Edward Street tells the story of a family – a widow and her two teenage daughters – who set out, under the leadership of the elder daughter, Aria, to take charge of their world and set it to rights.