Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Married . . . With Difficulties: The Books of Sue Miller

Hello, hello, it’s Book Review Wednesday. Today I’d like to bring to your attention the author Sue Miller. In 2008, she published The Senator's Wife, my personal favorite of her ten books. She also wrote Inventing the Abbotts which I believe is a short story and I know became a movie.

What’s so delectable about The Senator’s Wife? The writing, the writing, the writing. And the characters. I connected with Meri right off the bat. She’s newly married, pregnant, and more than a little resentful of her husband, Nathan. She’s facing the temporary loss of a job she loves, distraught over the changes in her body, the exhaustion, and the morning sickness when she overhears him telling someone at a party that the timing of the pregnancy is a ‘disaster’ with his (non-fiction) book due a few months after the birth. Men!

Then there’s Delia Naughton, the title character. She’s already gone through motherhood and her kids are out of the house. After having an affair with one of her daughter’s college friends, so is her husband. Yet she doesn’t divorce him. Through letters found by Meri and flash backs from Delia’s point of view, the reader gets Delia’s side of things through the years.

The ending is a bit of a shocker, but I won’t be spoiling anything today. My second favorite book of Miller’s is While I Was Gone. It’s also a delicious look into the complexities of marriage between a pastor and a veterinarian, but in this case, the wife is distraught over the long-ago murder of a good friend and contemplating having an affair. In the end, the murderer is revealed, giving the book a suspense/thriller feel.

Miller has a new book out this year, The Lake Shore Limited, which is going on my 'must have now' list.


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