The Edith Trilogy by Frank Moorhouse (Grand Days, Dark Palace and Cold Light)

2012 Limelight reviews
General Fiction, Historical Novels

The three books of Frank Moorhouse’s Edith Trilogy (Grand Days, Dark Palace and Cold Light) follow the adult life of the ambitious, and somewhat eccentric, Edith Campbell Berry.

As a young woman in the 1920s, Edith travelled from Australia to Geneva to join the League of Nations, and stayed there through WW2 until the collapse of the League in 1950.  By the third book, she mas moved back to Australia and went to the developing city of Canberra where her life changed – yet again.

Edith is a mostly likeable character and the people she mixes with – real and imagined – are interesting and often quirky.   But these books are more than just about Edith and her ambitions and private life. They are set in times of upheaval and change and that, to me, is a big part of what makes these books such a good read.  But, be warned, you have to be strong to read them – they are big books!

Wendy Kaye
Tom Keneally Centre volunteer