Audiobook. Last book in the Oz trip preparation series. Cloudstreet is set in Perth, the most isolated city in the world, near the end of WWII. Two families in economic straits move into a huge ramshackle house on Cloud Street. The Pickles family has gambling and drinking problems; the Lamb family is all about hard work. Their 20 years of soap opera dramas, separately and together, are winningly told with the backdrop of the times.
In a completely unexpected exchange an interesting religious question was addressed. Oriel Lamb, a very tough, apparently unfeeling older woman, unexpectedly rebukes her son for thanking God that a monstrous murderer who had been terrorizing the city would be executed. (Killing is men’s business, don’t thank God for it, she says.) This sentiment came as a shock to her son who thought her a non-believer whose only principle was hard work. The woman’s husband explains she worked at trying to believe the passage from the Bible saying the greatest commandment is to love the Lord; the second is to love your neighbor as yourself. It was a powerful message.
I read in a biographical sketch that Tim Winton describes himself as a Christian. Until that exchange near the end of the book hadn’t seen an indication of that.