It's a love story of sorts to the Opera House and the fact that the author chose four protagonists (to represent the four sails of the House) could be just a moot point.
It does feel very airy in its proses and the plot can feel like it's going nowhere. It reminds me of "Ghostwritten" by David Mitchell which works on a more linear fashion as it moves from character to character (with a glancing look back) from beginning to the end of the novel and the voices are clearer/stronger.
It is always difficult to pick out the 'aussie' voices to speak for the author and there will always be those who are not represented. It makes it difficult to immerse oneself and feel for characters which may not purport to represent the multitude of voice
One has to get past the short paragraphs of 'scenic' sightseeing and grapple with what they have to say, which can be quite little at times since it always feel as if the author is doing snippets of character study for all of them and not allowing them much interaction but only in passing.
In some strange way, it leaves Sydney (and australians - or non-australians) looking like a shimmering mirage; the book resembling a symphonic poem instead of the full symphony.