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This collection includes stories about everything from illicit love affairs to family, the immigrant experience and badly behaved children.
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 next child arrives, and they're never the same again. Over the next forty years, the Eberhardt family survive a flood tide of upheaval and heartbreak, love and betrayal and pain . . . hoping they can someday heal their hearts.
Anna's experiences have repressed her ability to engage fully in life. After a divorce, she begins dating an artist, but the affair has painful consequences when Anna's ex-husband sues for custody
In these short stories, written early in her career, Miller portrays characters as the cope with a variety of complex situations involving human relationships. In the title story the narrator observes his brother's longing and disdain for the ostentatiously wealthy Abbott girls. In "Appropriate Affect" a woman's true feelings emerge as she recovers from a stroke. In "The Birds and the Bees" an adolescent girl encounters a child molester. The protagonist of "Calling" feels compelled to make anonymous phone calls to his girlfriend.
That's what the play was about, she was thinking abruptly. The wish to imagine what life could be, how it could change, if you were unencumbered. Did everyone who was married do this from time to time, imagine an unencumbered life? Three years after the death of her younger brother Gus, Leslie still thinks about what might have been: if Gus hadn't got on that plane on September 11th, if her husband understood the nature of her grief, if she had made different choices. As she sits down to watch The Lake Shore Limited, a disquietingly autobiographical play written by Gus's former girlfriend Billy, she can't help but wonder whether she also holds on to the past, and whether she really knows Billy at all. Meanwhile, Sam, Leslie's divorced friend, finds in the play inescapable echoes of his troubled life and begins to fall for Billy's distinctive, enigmatic beauty. A powerful love story; a mesmerising tale of entanglements, connections and inconsolable losses; a marvellous 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.
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 Miller's 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 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.From the Hardcover edition.
Promiseland is Willow Creek's highly successful children's ministry. Using examples from Promiseland and churches of all sizes around the country, this book provides stepbystep guidance and creative application exercises to help churches develop a thriving children's ministry-one that strives to be the best hour of every kid's week. Included are Scripturebased principles and practical resources for church staff members and volunteers who agree with the critical role children's ministry plays in a local church. Making Your Children's Ministry the Best Hour of Every Kid's Week, based on twentyeight years of experience at Willow Creek, explains four ministry foundations: Mission, Vision, Values, and Strategy. Content includes: Detailed answers to questions facing every children's ministry: - What does Jesus expect from children's ministry? - How can we evangelize lost kids and disciple saved kids at the same time, and should we? - How do we engage kids so they don't become bored? - How do we get better at recruiting and leading volunteers? - How can our ministry be a safe place for children? - Six specific ministry values that address the needs of today's children - Practical first steps for ministries that want to get serious about change - Clear indicators of success in children's ministry
Once again Sue Miller takes us deep into the private lives of women with this mesmerizing portrait of two marriages exposed in all their shame and imperfection, and in their obdurate, unyielding love. The author of the iconicThe Good Motherand the best-sellingWhile I Was Gonebrings her marvelous gifts to a powerful story of two unconventional women who unexpectedly change each other's lives. Meri is newly married, pregnant, and standing on the cusp of her life as a wife and mother, recognizing with some terror the gap between reality and expectation. Delia Naughton--wife of the two-term liberal senator Tom Naughton--is Meri's new neighbor in the adjacent New England town house. Delia's husband's chronic infidelity has been an open secret in Washington circles, but despite the complexity of their relationship, the bond between them remains strong. What keeps people together, even in the midst of profound betrayal? How can a journey imperiled by, and sometimes indistinguishable from, compromise and disappointment culminate in healing and grace? Delia and Meri find themselves leading strangely parallel lives, both reckoning with the contours and mysteries of marriage, one refined and abraded by years of complicated intimacy, the other barely begun. Here are all the things for which Sue Miller has always been beloved--the complexity of experience precisely rendered, the richness of character and emotion, the superb economy of style--fused with an utterly engrossing story that has a great deal to say to women, and men, of all ages.
An unforgettable book about fathers and daughters from Sue Miller. In the spring of 1986, Sue Miller found herself more and more deeply involved in caring for her father as he slipped into the grasp of Alzheimer's disease. The Story of my Father, her first work of non-fiction, is a profound, deeply moving account of her father's final days and her own response to it. With care, restraint and consummate skill, Miller writes of her struggles to be fully with her father in his illness while confronting her own terror of abandonment, and eventually the long, hard work of grieving for him. And through this candid, painful record, she offers a rigorous, compassionate inventory of two lives, a powerful meditation on the variable nature of memory and the difficulty of weaving a truthful narrative from the threads of a dissolving life. This is a truly remarkable book from one of America's best loved authors.
Novelist Sue Miller writes with stunning truthfulness about her father's slow and irrevocable descent into Alzheimers disease, and her anguished struggle to care for him and maintain emotional contact. She reflects upon her father's life and the dynamics of her family as past patterns are sometimes unraveled, sometimes reinforced. In a moving afterword Miller describes how she came to terms with her father's death and explains how she decided to write this book.
"Miller Weaves Her Themes Of Secrecy, Betrayal And Forgiveness Into A Narrative That Shines." -Time. "Fascinating ... Despite having a loving husband, three vivacious daughters, a beautiful home in rural Massachusetts, and satisfaction in her work, Jo Becker's mind is invaded by a persistent restlessness. Then, an old roommate reappears to bring back Jo's memories of her early 20s ... Her obsession with that period of her life and with the crime that concluded it eventually estrange Jo from everything she holds dear, causing her to tell lie after lie as she is pulled closer to this man from her past--and to a horrible secret." -Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
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.From the Hardcover edition.
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