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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; 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.

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