on 14 November 2000
I bought this book whilst on holiday is the States earlier this year. I had never heard of Sue Miller before this, but she is certainly an author I will never overlook in future.
Masterfully written in the first person, the narrative is extremely well paced, allowing the reader to connect and relate to Jo, the narrator, before the mystery begins.
Jo is happily married to her second husband and has three daughters who have now left the family home in New England. Jo and her husband are settling into life without the family and happily exploring their newfound freedom. It is brought to our attention very early on that Jo, although enjoying the time she now has with her husband, is feeling a little uneasy and restless. This feeling becomes more prominent and expands to many aspects of Jo's life following the arrival of an old friend with whom she shared a communal house in the late 1960's. She begins to relate this feeling of unease to this time in her life, a time of great joy, freedom and exploration. She recalls vividly the other members of the house in Cambridge and revisits the relationships and encounters that she had with each of them.
However, all is certainly not as it seems, as Jo delves deeper into her past, recalling the crime that brought it all to an abrupt end, and her feelings towards her old friend become stronger, she betrays all those close to her.
Will they be able to forgive her for what she has done? Does she deserve to be forgiven?
This is a key theme of the novel and Sue Miller intertwines this, and other themes relating to human nature, with a story and narrative so compelling that you want to swallow it all in one sitting.
An amazing and thought-provoking novel. Lock yourself away and ENJOY!!!
on 12 February 2001
What on earth can I read now that I have finished this story, because no book could possibly follow it! Every woman would identify with Joe Becker at some time in her life. The story has everything, love, regret, crime, happiness. Three words describe this book for me - Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!
on 1 January 2004
I'm only 36 but I enjoyed this book as a treat for baby boomers. It's about the well-worn path from wild share-accommodation living in the sixties through to Christmas with your three almost grown up children. For that generation of readers it raises potential for personal reflections about marriage, child-raising, old friends, even religion. A very interesting and unpredictable plot running throughout. The main character is very well-drawn, familiar and likable.A skilled writer but some of the paragraphs dragged with too many banal details. Still, these do not detract from a memorable read. My mother and sister both enjoyed the book too.
on 24 June 2009
Surprisingly good because it sat on my bookshelf for ages and I always seemed to choose something else! I've just finished it and really enjoyed it. Sue Miller writes with great understanding of what women are all about, what it takes to make and break a relationship and realising what it takes to make a person who they are over their life. Will definitely read more of hers and look forward to it.