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NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2020!
NPR BEST BOOK OF 2020
PEOPLE MAGAZINE TOP TEN BOOKS OF THE YEAR
BOOKPAGE BEST BOOK OF 2020
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING BEST BOOK OF 2020
“A sensual and perceptive novel. . . . With humor and humanity, Miller resists the simple scorned-wife story and instead crafts a revelatory tale of the complexities—and the absurdities—of love, infidelity, and grief.” —O, the Oprah Magazine
A brilliantly insightful novel, engrossing and haunting, about marriage, love, family, happiness and sorrow, from New York Times bestselling author Sue Miller.
Graham and Annie have been married for nearly thirty years. Their seemingly effortless devotion has long been the envy of their circle of friends and acquaintances. By all appearances, they are a golden couple.
Graham is a bookseller, a big, gregarious man with large appetites—curious, eager to please, a lover of life, and the convivial host of frequent, lively parties at his and Annie’s comfortable house in Cambridge. Annie, more reserved and introspective, is a photographer. She is about to have her first gallery show after a six-year lull and is worried that the best years of her career may be behind her. They have two adult children; Lucas, Graham’s son with his first wife, Frieda, works in New York. Annie and Graham’s daughter, Sarah, lives in San Francisco. Though Frieda is an integral part of this far-flung, loving family, Annie feels confident in the knowledge that she is Graham’s last and greatest love.
When Graham suddenly dies—this man whose enormous presence has seemed to dominate their lives together—Annie is lost. What is the point of going on, she wonders, without him?
Then, while she is still mourning Graham intensely, she discovers a ruinous secret, one that will spiral her into darkness and force her to question whether she ever truly knew the man who loved her.
“Miller depicts [her characters] with grace and elegance, enriching their perceptions with strands of connecting images and intertwined history.... A very moving book.”—New York Times Book Review
The moving story of a mother and son that touches the deepest concerns about love, art, family, and life.
Lily Maynard is proud, chilly, difficult, and has become a famous writer at age seventy-two. Now, stricken with Parkinson's disease and staying with her architect son Alan, Lily must cope with her fading powers as well as with disturbing memories of the events that estranged her from her children and ended her marriage. For Alan, her visit raises old questions about his relationship with her, about the choices he has made in his life, and about the nature of love, disappointment, and grief. Profound and moving, The Distinguished Guest reveals a family trying to understand the meaning of its life together, while confronting inevitable loss and the vision of an immeasurably altered future.
"A tour de force by any standard." —Newsweek
"Miller writes with wisdom, compassion, and an almost palpable sense of reality about the ambiguous and difficult choices that . . . at one time or another, life demands of us." —Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A convergence of family and friends stirs memories of the past in New York Times bestselling author Sue Miller's novel about the beautiful, raging, and tragic yearning for romantic love.
After years of lives lived apart, Lottie Gardner, her brother, Cameron, and their old friend Elizabeth reunite in their hometown of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Lottie has arrived to settle the estate of her elderly mother in decline. It's also a chance to slip away from a passionless marriage in jeopardy. What she longs for is the kind of heedless romance she sees in her brother's rekindled fling with his childhood sweetheart. But Elizabeth is in the throes of a marital crisis of her own. And when blind desire culminates in a senseless tragedy, Lottie, Cameron, and Elizabeth must confront the choices they've made for love.
Gripping, emotional, and unexpected, For Love explores the inevitable reconciliation of the life you dream of when young and hopeful with the reality of the one you must abide.
Troubled by the feeling that she belongs nowhere after working in East Africa for fifteen years, Frankie Rowley has come home—home to the small New Hampshire village of Pomeroy and the farmhouse where her family has always summered. On her first night back, a house up the road burns to the ground. Then another house burns, and another, always the houses of the summer people. In a town where people have never bothered to lock their doors, social fault lines are opened, and neighbors begin to regard one another with suspicion. Against this backdrop of menace and fear, Frankie begins a passionate, unexpected affair with the editor of the local paper, a romance that progresses with exquisite tenderness and heat toward its own remarkable risks and revelations.
Suspenseful, sophisticated, rich in psychological nuance and emotional insight, The Arsonist is vintage Sue Miller—a finely wrought novel about belonging and community, about how and where one ought to live, about what it means to lead a fulfilling life. One of our most elegant and engrossing novelists at her inimitable best.
This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
The novel moves from the snow-filled woods of Vermont to the rainy brick sidewalks of Boston as the lives of the other characters intersect and interweave with Billy’s: Leslie, Gus’s sister, still driven by grief years after her brother’s death; Rafe, the actor who rises to greatness in a performance inspired by a night of incandescent lovemaking; and Sam, a man irresistibly drawn to Billy after he sees the play that so clearly displays the terrible conflicts and ambivalence of her situation.
How Billy has come to create the play out of these emotions, how it is then created anew on the stage, how the performance itself touches and changes the other characters’ lives—these form the thread that binds them all together and drives the novel compulsively forward.
A powerful love story; a mesmerizing tale of entanglements, connections, and inconsolable losses; a marvelous reflection on the meaning of grace and the uses of sorrow, in life and in art: The Lake Shore Limited is Sue Miller at her dazzling best.
"A tour de force. Sue Miller goes straight to the dark heart of the matter of modern sexual morality." —Russell Banks
Sue Miller’s critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller about a woman torn between motherhood and sexual freedom, sacrifice and responsibility
After an amicable divorces, piano teacher Anna Dunlap has built an independent life in New England for herself and her four-year-old daughter, Molly. It's all Anna thinks she needs. Until she meets Leo Cutter, an artist who makes her feel desired, unabashedly sexual, and filled with certitude and passion for the first time.
All it takes is a single unguarded moment for Anna's perfect world to implode, Leveling shocking charges against Leo, Anna's ex-husband crashes back into Anna's life and takes Molly with him. When it thrusts Anna into a public and ugly custody battle, she is forced to defend her choices, to confront the damage done by the choices of others, and to prove herself, against seemingly unpardonable odds, a good mother.
Maine, 1919. Georgia Rice, who has cared for her father and two siblings since her mother's death, is diagnosed, at nineteen, with tuberculosis and sent away to a sanitarium. Freed from the burdens of caretaking, she discovers a nearly lost world of youth and possibility, and meets the doomed young man who will become her lover.
Vermont, the present. On the heels of a divorce, Catherine Hubbard, Georgia's granddaughter, takes up residence in Georgia's old house. Sorting through her own affairs, Cath stumbles upon the true story of Georgia's life and marriage, and of the misunderstanding upon which she built a lasting love.
With the tales of these two women--one a country doctor's wife with a haunting past, the other a twice-divorced San Francisco schoolteacher casting about at midlife for answers to her future--Miller offers us a novel of astonishing richness and emotional depth. Linked by bitter disappointments, compromise, and powerful grace, the lives of Georgia and Cath begin to seem remarkably similar, despite their distinctly different times: two young girls, generations apart, motherless at nearly the same age, thrust into early adulthood, struggling with confusing bonds of attachment and guilt; both of them in marriages that are not what they seem, forced to make choices that call into question the very nature of intimacy, faithfulness, betrayal, and love. Marvelously written, expertly told, The World Below captures the shadowy half-truths of the visible world, and the beauty and sorrow submerged beneath the surfaces of our lives--the lost world of the past, our lost hopes for the future. A tour de force from one of our most beloved storytellers.
“Profoundly honest, shapely, ambitious, engrossing.”—New York Times Book Review
From New York Times bestselling author Sue Miller comes a masterful novel about the life of a large family that is deeply bonded by the stranger in their midst—an autistic child.
The whole world could not have broken the spirit and strength of the Eberhardt family of 1948. Lainey is a wonderful if slightly eccentric mother. David is a good father, sometimes sarcastic, always cool-tempered. Two wonderful children round out the perfect picture. Then the third child arrives—and life is never the same again. Over the next forty years, the Eberhardt family struggles to live with a flood tide of upheaval and heartbreak, love and betrayal, passion and pain...hoping they can someday heal their hearts.
Family Pictures is an unforgettable, insightful, and resounding novel of strength and resiliency against overwhelming circumstances.
“Compelling. . . . What Miller offers . . . is a distinctive sensibility—a candid exploration of the frail and gritty truths about trying to love without harm or reprisal.”—Boston Globe
From Sue Miller, author of the bestselling THE GOOD MOTHER and FAMILY PICTURES, this collection of short stories, INVENTING THE ABBOTTS, explores the treacherously shifting ground of erotic and family relationships with deftness and depth.
The title story is about a young man who takes up successively with three daughters of the most fashionable family in town. In other stories, whose characters range from a young girl in the first blush of sexual curiosity to a stricken dowager whose seizures release a brutal and sometimes obscene candor, Sue Miller presents a compelling gallery of contemporary men and women with hungry hearts and dismayed consciences.
With keen sensitivity and penetrating insight, Inventing the Abbotts will strike a chord with readers everywhere.
James Nichols was a fourth-generation minister, a retired professor from Princeton Theological Seminary. Sue Miller brings her father brilliantly to life in these pages-his religious faith, his endless patience with his children, his gaiety and willingness to delight in the ridiculous, his singular gifts as a listener, and the rituals of church life that stayed with him through his final days. She recalls the bitter irony of watching him, a church historian, wrestle with a disease that inexorably lays waste to notions of time, history, and meaning. She recounts her struggle with doctors, her deep ambivalence about many of her own choices, and the difficulty of finding, continually, the humane and moral response to a disease whose special cruelty it is to dissolve particularities and to diminish, in so many ways, the humanity of those it strikes. She reflects, unforgettably, on the variable nature of memory, the paradox of trying to weave a truthful narrative from the threads of a dissolving life. And she offers stunning insight into her own life as both a daughter and a writer, two roles that swell together here in a poignant meditation on the consolations of storytelling.
With the care, restraint, and consummate skill that define her beloved and best-selling fiction, Sue Miller now gives us a rigorous, compassionate inventory of two lives, in a memoir destined to offer comfort to all sons and daughters struggling-as we all eventually must-to make peace with their fathers and with themselves.
Eva, a divorced and happily remarried mother of three, runs a small bookstore in a town north of San Francisco. When her second husband, John, is killed in a car accident, her family’s fragile peace is once again overtaken by loss. Emily, the eldest, must grapple with newfound independence and responsibility. Theo, the youngest, can only begin to fathom his father’s death. But for Daisy, the middle child, John’s absence opens up a world of bewilderment, exposing her at the onset of adolescence to the chaos and instability that hover just beyond the safety of parental love. In her sorrow, Daisy embarks on a harrowing sexual odyssey, a journey that will cast her even farther out onto the harsh promontory of adulthood and lost hope.
With astonishing sensuality and immediacy, Lost in the Forest moves through the most intimate realms of domestic life, from grief and sex to adolescence and marriage. It is a stunning, kaleidoscopic evocation of a family in crisis, written with delicacy and masterful care. For her lifelong fans and those just discovering Sue Miller for the first time, here is a rich and gorgeously layered tale of a family breaking apart and coming back together again: Sue Miller at her inimitable best.