Fresh from a trip to New York, I enjoyed the setting of this book and descriptions of parts of the city I had walked myself just days ago.
The Sunken Cathedral follows a group of loosely connected New Yorkers still clinging to the past while trying to navigate the disquiet of their present. The characters include two widows, an art instructor, an art historian and a woman with a husband and teenage son.
Stories about aging seem to be finding their way to me. What are you trying to tell me universe?! Although it was difficult for me to follow the narrative of The Sunken Cathedral, I was struck by the desolation of the characters. I couldn’t help feeling sorry for them and their inability to let go of people and events from the past combined with the anxiety of knowing they may be at the end of their journeys.
The story switches between characters and time periods so abruptly, I often found myself confused and wondering what was happening and who I was reading about. The inclusion of long footnotes to provide a deeper layer to a character’s background didn’t help either.
The Sunken Cathedral is a dream-like, melancholy story about characters so bogged down by the past, they can’t connect emotionally with the present. It was difficult to get to know the characters and follow the story, but I could appreciate the undertone of anxiety they felt about finding themselves at a point in life where there was really nowhere else to go.
NOTE: I received a copy of The Sunken Cathedral with much thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada, but this in no way influenced the thoughts and opinions expressed in my review.