Combined Reviews: The Submerged Cathedral by Charlotte Wood

submerged_cathedral.jpg Reviews of The Submerged Cathedral by Charlotte Wood.

This book has been shortlisted for the 2005 Miles Franklin Award. Given that it was published in early 2004, a number of reviews have dropped off the web. There are still some out there, and I've been able to track down a few of the missing.

Thuy On, in "The Sunday Age" was impressed with the way the novel transcends possible genre labelling: "This is no saccharine boy-meets-girl soapie but an intensely evocative tale framed by the Australian landscape and suffused with religious pathos...Wood is adept at depicting both the minutiae of relationships and the external environment against which such conflicting loyalties are played out."

The title of the book is taken from a Debussy work ,"The Engulfed Cathedral", and Mark Tredinnick, writing in "The Bulletin", found that: "Wood's writing is made of the same stuff as Debussy's music: exquisite and sometimes dissonant chords; delicate, slow notes; a gentle, passionate witness of the patterns submerged within the real order of things; of longing and elegy."

And Ceridwen Spark in "The Sydney Morning Herald" continued the association: "It seems little accident that the book takes its title from a song, for the almost exquisite pain that Wood captures usually belongs to the realm of music."

Anna Goldsworthy ("Australian Book Review") considered it "an archetypal narrative, of love lost and regained", and Spark concluded that it was "assured, bold and elegant." A worthy inclusion on the Miles Franklin award shortlist then.

Murray Waldren kicked off the appeciations of the novel with his piece in "The Weekend Australian", and which he now makes available on his website. It is more a profile of the author than a review per se.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 13, 2005 3:38 PM.

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