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Lost in the Forestby Sue Miller
In flawless prose and poignant psychological insight Miller returns to what she does best: the gentle examination of our reactions to loss and betrayal. Miller's ability to get to the very heart of the way we run our messy lives — the way we sometimes make the wrong decisions or hurt the ones who matter the most — makes her a precious writer for those of us wishing to forgive ourselves while we also forgive each other.
Synopses & Reviews
From one of America's best-loved novelists — an unforgettable tale of a family breaking apart and coming together again, set in the vineyards of Northern California.
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. 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, and to the powerlessness of that love to protect or even to console. In her sorrow, Daisy embarks on a harrowing sexual odyssey with a much older man, a journey that will cast her even further out onto the harsh promontory of adulthood and lost hope.
Lost in the Forest is an intensely sensual voyage into the consuming realms of grief and sex, and a gorgeously layered testament to the fluidity of family life. A hymn to marriage, and to adolescent yearning, this is Sue Miller at her inimitable best.
"Bestseller Miller (The Good Mother; While I Was Gone; etc.) examines love and betrayal in idyllic wine country in another minutely observed, finely paced exploration of domestic relationships. Idealistic California converts Eva and Mark had a solid marriage until Mark's affair; 'bumps in matrimony' is what one of Eva's friends, Gracie, calls such difficulties, and as Miller presents them it's not a question of whether they'll appear but how to deal with them when they do. Some years later, Mark and Eva's two adolescent daughters, Emily and Daisy, are living with Eva and her second husband, John, and their young son, Theo. After John's death in a freak accident, Mark rescues the children from their mother's anguish and, in the process, realizes he is still in love with her. John's death becomes the focus of an elegant and careful investigation of loss — loss of love, loss of innocence — and the conflicts between men and women, parents and children, friends and lovers. As Eva grieves and Mark acknowledges his feelings for her, their quiet younger daughter, 15-year-old Daisy (who 'had loved [John] the best!'), enters into an affair with an older man. The backdrop of California vineyards is ideal for the growth and life-cycle themes that Miller so carefully cultivates. As Daisy tries her first glass of wine, has her first taste of sex and experiments with her sense of power and voice, she develops into the heroine of the tale — one of the next generation of women learning to navigate the complex familiar waters of love and domesticity. Agent, Maxine Groffsky. 150,000 first printing; 11-city author tour. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Sue Miller has a uniquely American voice, and few women have ever written better about families....Daisy's descent...is so harrowing that I literally had to put the book aside on a couple of occasions. You can call it family drama if you want to; the proper name for this stuff is probably nitro." Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly
"Whether...relationships are made up of romantic attachments or the bonds that connect parents and children, Miller knows exactly how to corral their turbulent emotions and complex revelations into a fluid, compelling story of everyday life....[Q]uietly accomplished." Chicago Sun-Times
"Miller at her best: engrossing characters and a plot that turns unexpected corners." Kirkus Reviews
"[I]f at first [Miller's] new novel seems to revisit an overly familiar story, she quickly offers proof that it will be in her own distinctive style — that it will, in fact, be one of her strongest, most satisfying books." Kathryn Harrison, the New York Times Book Review
For nearly two decades, since the publication of her iconic first novel, The Good Mother, Sue Miller has distinguished herself as one of our most elegant and widely celebrated chroniclers of family life, with a singular gift for laying bare the interior lives of her characters. In each of her novels, Miller has written with exquisite precision about the experience of grace in daily life-the sudden, epiphanic recognition of the extraordinary amid the ordinary-as well as the sharp and unexpected motions of the human heart away from it, toward an unruly netherworld of upheaval and desire. But never before have Millers powers been keener or more transfixing than they are in Lost in the Forest, a novel set in the vineyards of Northern California that tells the story of a young girl who, in the wake of a tragic accident, seeks solace in a damaging love affair with a much older man.
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 familys 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 fathers death. But for Daisy, the middle child, Johns 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.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Sue Miller is the best-selling author of the novels The World Below, While I Was Gone, The Distinguished Guest, For Love, Family Pictures, and The Good Mother; the story collection Inventing the Abbotts; and the memoir The Story of My Father. She lives in Boston.
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