When you can’t get enough … a trio of literary trilogies

What if you love a book so much you can’t bear for it to end? There may be a solution: Read books that have a sequel or — even better — read a trilogy. One of the best known general fiction trilogies is Robertson Davies’ famous “Deptford Trilogy,” which focuses on Deptford, Ontario, and its inhabitants and begins with the act of a small boy throwing a snowball and its resultant consequences. Each beautifully written novel of the trio — Fifth Business, The Manticore and World of Wonders — takes the same action from a different character’s point of view.  Davies can keeping you going for quite a while (he wrote three other trilogies), but you might also want to consider these three authors’ trilogies: 

NY Trilogy book coverThe “New York Trilogy” by Paul Auster, perhaps best described as postmodern detective fiction, features three interlocking novels, City of Glass, Ghosts and The Locked Room  — all on the nature of identity. In a more exotic vein, Egyptian novelist and nobelist Naguib Mahfouz has written “The Cairo Trilogy” – Palace Walk, Palace of Desire and Sugar Street. Each title is an actual street name in the city of Cairo. The novels Morningside Heights book coverfocus on a Muslim Cairo patriarch and his family from the years 1917 to 1944.
Cheryl Mendelson has written a sophisticated trilogy about the well-heeled inhabitants of New York City’s Upper Westside Morningside Heights neighborhood. The novels, in order, are Morningside Heights, Love, Work, Children and Anything for Jane. A modern Jane Austen, Mendelson has written three charming novels of manners where the neighborhood plays the starring role.
~ Susan

2 thoughts on “When you can’t get enough … a trio of literary trilogies”

  1. One of my all time favorite Trilogies is the Seven Waters Trilogy by Juliet Marillier, which consists of “Daughter of the Forest’, “Son of the Shadows”, and “Child of the Prophecy”. The vivid details draw you into the story to genuinely care about the characters despite each books’ 400+ pages.
    I was surprised how fast a read they were and the anticipation I would get for the next book in the series.

  2. What about Sigrid Undset’s amazing trilogy, “Kristin Lavransdatter?” Set in medieval Norway, the story follows the life of the title character, the strong willed daughter of a respected farmer, who marries a rakish and mercurial aspirant to the throne of the kingdom. Though written around around 1919, the new translation — by Seattlite Tina Nunnelly — brings an incredibly rich and modern sensibility to the entire work. “The Wreath,” “The Wife,” and “The Cross,” feature some of the most vivid characters, and gut-wrenching drama of any fiction I’ve read. Undset won the Nobel Prize for Literature, largely on the strength of this work. Largely as a result of the earlier, inferior, translation, this is a mostly undiscovered gem for English language readers, but I guarantee it won’t be for long!

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