"The Submerged Cathedral" by Charlotte Wood. [review - radio script]
Dooley, Gillian Mary
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"The Submerged Cathedral" is Sydney writer Charlotte Wood’s second novel. Written with delicacy and love, it is, she says in the dedication, inspired by her parents’ love story. Martin and Jocelyn meet in 1963. He is a doctor, she is a freelance copy editor working on a multi-volume encyclopedia of Australia. Jocelyn refuses Martin’s offer of marriage – “marriage is ordinary”, she says – but agrees to live with him in his house on an island in Pittwater, north of Sydney. She braves the social stigma of what was then seriously regarded as living in sin, not because she is immoral but because she will not taint her love for Martin with the ordinariness of the kind of marriage she has witnessed – her father’s routine unfaithfulness, her mother’s calm acceptance of it.