Lily Campbell’s Secret
Australia, 1913. Lily’s comfortable life is shattered when she becomes pregnant to Bert, a stablehand. Her parents disown her – the first of many wrenching challenges. When Bert returns from the Great War a shattered man, Lily has to face a momentous decision. “Original and compelling. A vivid sense of period; a breathtaking finale.” (Virginia Duigan)
It’s 1913, and Lily’s comfortable middle-class Melbourne life is completely upended when she falls in love. As she sits in the hall of her private school, portraits of past headmistresses frowning at her, she realises the ‘glaring, unalterable fact’ that she is pregnant, the father a young stablehand, Bert. Her parents disown her: the first of many wrenching challenges she must face.
Lily marries Bert, and they have a happy few months together in rural Woodend, where their daughter is born. Bert volunteers for the Great War, and Lily is thrown very much on her own resources. When Bert returns home staring blankly, Lily has to face the most momentous decision of her life.
Irina Dunn, Director of Australian Writers’ Network, describes the book as Australian Gothic, where “the suppressed grand passions of her long-suffering heroine are finally resolved in a way that is both shocking and completely natural.”