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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."
Lost in the Forest
Miller's latest, another finely crafted novel about the nature of romantic love, is set in the California wine country. Happily settled in her second marriage, Eva runs a bookstore and takes care of her three children. When John, her second husband, is hit by a car and killed, Eva is forced to re-evaluate her life. Her oldest daughter, the pretty, self-assured Emily, assumes a position of leadership in the family as the children struggle with the loss of their stepfather. Theo, the youngest, is too small to grasp what's happening, while 15-year-old Daisy suffers most of all. Overwhelmed by grief, she becomes involved with an older man in a sexually charged, ultimately damaging affair. The encounter changes Daisy's life forever, and she reflects on it in passages of the book that are set in the future, after she's reached adulthood. These moving sections are skillfully woven into the novel and create a striking juxtaposition to the main storyline. Meanwhile, Mark, Eva's first husband and the children's father, re-enters the picture, lending support to the family and discovering that he still has feelings for Eva. This poignant narrative is a rich exploration of love, grief and the endurance of the human spirit, and Miller's many fans will savor it for the fresh insights it provides into family relationships and the process of mourning.
A reading group guide is included in the book.