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Lost in the Forest

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  2,438 ratings  ·  275 reviews
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. ...more
Hardcover, 246 pages
Published April 5th 2005 by Knopf (first published 2005)
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Italiangirl I like her older novels. Of late, she seems to have gotten sloppy in her writing.
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Philip
In Lost In The Forest, Sue Miller inhabits the family. It’s an extended family, of course, extended in the twenty-first century Anglo-Saxon sense of it being stretched and disrupted by divorce, re-marriage and identity-seeking children. The book starts in what seems to be a conventional setting. Mark and Eva have been divorced for several years. Their two daughters, Emily and Daisy, are approaching adolescence. Theo, their brother, is a toddler, the son of Eva’s second husband, John. Eva’s first ...more
Heather
Rating: D-

Review: This is the second of Miller's books that I've read, and I'm finding that she has some consistent patterns. Some are good patterns, things that keep you reading; some are bad patterns, things that make you want to throw the book at the wall (or at least roll your eyes hard enough to harm your vision).

The Good Pattern: She loves the theme of messy marriages. And she's right, it's not easy. I like reading about the way she writes marriages. The way she talks about the boring aspe
...more
Judy
Another can't-put-it-down novel by Sue Miller -- as harrowing as "The Good Mother," but with a happier ending. This novel is told by an unseen narrator from three perspectives, with loose enough boundaries that the story flows seamlessly along and you don't immediately realize that it's someone else's experiences you're learning about.

First there is Jake, a 40-something divorced wine grape grower in Napa. His former wife, Eva, has remarried and as the story begins, Eva's husband John has just be
...more
Erica
I full-up admit that I wanted to read this book because the summary said the middle child in a grief-stricken family embarks upon a journey to figure out who she is and what she means to the greater world via sexual exploration with a much older man. This Lolita topic is something that always piques my interest, probably because of my own not-even-anything-like-that experiences; I think it's a topic that I want to know more about, hear more about, because I am still trying to put my own thoughts ...more
Nancy
This book was....disturbing. I know it was supposed to be but there were many instances of TMI, just too much information about things you don't care to know. Details that do not move the story forward and leave you thinking, what the heck? Like when the main character wakes up in the morning and goes to the bathroom....do we really need to know the exact physical feeling of urinating? Well there are many examples but suffice it to say now and then I would just become disgusted and yell, "gross! ...more
Vic
Ok, I am a Sue Miller fan. I like books that deal with the interior life of the characters in the book and she really does this well. I think of her as being in the genre of Anne Tyler.

Spoiler alert: The following contains information concerning the plot.

In this book, within the first few pages, Eva's husband is killed in a car- pedestrian accident. The book focuses on the transition of Eva, her ex-husband, Mark, and her children through this fallout of the tragedy. But, just saying this lea
...more
Sharon
I'm so glad that I found this author. Her book is a beautiful and sometimes haunting story of a family and the experiences that shape their lives individually and as a family unit.

Eva is the mom and her story is in the background of the family's lives, though Daisy, the middle daughter, has the most compelling story.

I found myself wanting Eva and Mark to get back together, and I liked them together. They had divorced due to Mark's infidelity and Eva got remarried to John, and the story begins wi
...more
Katie Addison
While I somewhat enjoyed this book and its characters, I felt like there was a lot of explaining and describing and too little action and dialogue. And usually that style of writing tends to appeal to me, but something about this story... It's just too drawn out. I literally would skip a paragraph here and there because it felt so redundant and irrelevant to the overall story, which was interesting in parts, but hardly substantial. I did enjoy the characters and the way Miller switched between t ...more
Courtney
I stumbled across Miller in an attempt to find authors who had a similar style to Wally Lamb. I checked out 2 of her works from the library, The World Below and this one. I read World Below first and wasn't impressed so I was hesitant to even read this book...but I'm really glad I did. I felt the characters in this writing were far more developed. I felt for and loved almost all of them (with the exception of Emily, the eldest, but I think that's due to the fact she wasn't given much "airtime"). ...more
Andy Villatoro
Ever wonder how you tried to go somewhere specific but you end up somewhere else completely different? This realistic fiction story is an amazing book to read. It has so much tension and excitement to it. The main character John is a very funny person and really has you going. You could even walk into a forest while reading this book, and not even realize it.

John Peckerson is trying to take his girlfriend Eva on a romantic date. One day Joey wakes up and goes to work like the usual. And when h
...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life
3 STARS

"One minute John is the cornerstone of Eva's world, rock to his two teenage stepdaughters and his own son Theo; the next he is tossed through the air in a traffic accident. His sudden death changes everything. Eva struggles with the desolation of loneliness, finding herself drawn back to her untrustworthy ex-husband; Emily, the eldest daughter, grapples with her new-found independence and responsibility. Little Theo can only begin to fathom the permanence of his father's death. But for th
...more
Sam
I'm surprised so many people have given this book poor ratings but that's likely due to the slightly disturbing content of the story. It's about a family that goes through a rough time and some members of the family act out. There are some 'icky' moments among, especially, the children that probably put people off. I found the book well-written and felt that the author was among those who found the events disturbing, as they were portrayed that way. There was no attempt on the part of the writin ...more
Laurie
This book was pretty formulaic and the writing was just ok but with little flashes of style/poetry scattered about. But there is something about Sue Miller's books that totally capture my attention while I'm reading her. I remember reading "The Good Mother" a while ago, and despite the same ordinary writing, there was a moment of such pure and utter sadness that I still think about it today. Maybe that's the point of her writing--to present the truly mundane lives us humans live and punctutate t ...more
Kathleen
Once again, Sue Miller portrays a family that immediately drew me in, beginning with the tragic death of John Albermarle, a much loved man, witnessed by his small son, Theo, and wife, Eva, and grieved by his teen-aged stepdaughters, Emily and Daisy.

The stories of Mark, the first husband, Eva, Emily, Daisy are told in alternating chapters, easily moving between the past and the present. The laborious task of beginning and maintaining vineyards, Mark’s work, woven throughout the novel, is almost a
...more
Preston Pairo
This is a superbly-written novel, and very close to 5 stars.

The family dynamic is beautifully handled, presented in a style that is at once direct and graceful, blissfully void of forced drama or overly-staged conflict--as good as I've read since Judith Guest's Ordinary People over 30 years ago.

Ms. Miller has also done a very nice job handling the two primary male characters, developing their personalities and creating dialogue that comes across as realistic, which now and again reads as forced
...more
Barbara
I have enjoyed most of Sue Miller's books. She skillfully acquaints the reader with individuals and families. She manages to have the reader involved in even the minutiae of their activities. She introduces current concerns and problems adeptly . This novel is no exception to those skills.

TO BE CONTINUED!
Kelly McCloskey-Romero
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gayle Cappelluti
Once again, Ms. Miller's outstanding story telling and character development bring us a family drama that brings us through the gamut of emotion - horror, fear, worry, forgiveness, hatred, confusion, you name it. This story mirrors the problems caused by fractured marriages and imperfect relationships that too often forget about the children while the adults seek love and fulfillment.
I truly could not put this book down, and except for my feelings of rage toward at least one character, I found
...more
Aura
Sue Miller is a talented writer. I found her style similar to Elizabeth Berg. Both authors paint a picture of a family with details of what it sounded like, what it felt like, what it tasted like. For the most part, this novel was excellent in spite of the fact that it is about the seduction of a 15 year old girl by a 50 something man. I say seduction because there is an element of seduction in the sexual abuse of a youngster. I was not upset by the vague ending because I think this is what happ ...more
Kathy
This novel has compelling subject matter, but I felt bogged down by the author's writing style. The only really interesting character (Daisy) is a 15 year old girl whose "voice" is limited to only two or three chapters, and you have to read half the book to even get there. The overall narrative is just over-written and too long -- many scenes are filled with extraneous details and conversations that don't serve any discernible purpose or advance the plot. Too much "telling" rather than "showing. ...more
Vanessa
Yes, it is that good: an emotional tour de force dealing in the various aspects of grief. We are individuals, our emotional bagagge differs from person to person. There is no correct way to grieve even though Daisy would believe so. The characters fill the reader with a sense of nostalgia for what could have been had tragedy and selfish needs not stepped in to muddy the waters. There is a longing for a Utopia that cannot be if we live on earth and are breathing.Well written, absorbing and charac ...more
Diana
Holy christ, what a disaster.

I didn't think an author could cook up characters any duller than those in "A Widow for One Year" but apparently anything is possible.

The description for this book is inaccurate. Sure, the middle daughter hooks up, but it's literally only a single angle of this story, and not a well-developed one.

What really boggled my mind? John (husband to Eva, father to Theo and stepfather to Emily and Daisy) fucking dies. The event itself (it's disclosed in the summary anyway) di
...more
Pammy
Lost in the Forest is a good story. Miller writes at her best when exploring the complexities of marriage. I get that.
And the book ends with a efficient "wrap-up" of the characters, and who doesn't appreciate closure.
I even thought she did the "very early May/very late December" relationship with confidence....I was spellbound by the Lolita versus The Graduate scenes. .....quite explicit scenes....almost embarrassing to read. As though reading them gave some sort of approval to the guy's despica
...more
Suzanne Moore
Being "lost in the forest" didn't literally happen in this story. The concept was mentioned in a story-telling game that Daisy's family played on occasion to keep her little brother Theo amused. Her mother usually started the story and then as it progressed, each family member would add a twist-of-events to further the story. Sometimes things happened unexpectedly, but care was always taken to have the story end happily. Although this phrase was only mentioned briefly in telling stories, I could ...more
Yvonne
I picked this up on CD from the library for something to listen to on a road trip. I'd read two Miller books previously, so it seemed like a good bet.

However, by the second CD I found this story so dull, so banal, that I had to rewind three times because my mind kept wandering. I went back to it after my trip because the back cover made it clear *something* was going to happen. Maybe it would get good...

But there were a number of things that irritated my about this book:
1)One character, Daisy,
...more
Liz
I really like Sue Miller as an author. Although this is not one of her best stories, I think she does a very good job exploring the different characters' reactions to the loss of the new husband/step-dad to two girls/father to a young boy. When I picked this book up in the store, I didn't remember that I had already read it, and even in reading it again, I didn't remember most of it. So, either I read it too fast the first time, or it didn't make a lasting impact on me (as has some of her other ...more
Hazel
A book I picked up for free on impulse at The Bookthing of Baltimore (www.bookthing.org). It must have been nearly two years ago as that is the last time I can remember going there. So after I gave up on my last read and was struggling to find a book on my shelves that got my attention, the following synopsis from Amazon made this one jump into my hands to read.

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 so
...more
Holly
I'm pretty sure Lost in the Forest went on my TBR list because Donald Maass used it as an example in one of his books. If not, who knows what I was thinking. These are my opinions only and in no way reflect on the inherent value of the book, or the author, or people who enjoyed the story.

Don't you just hate it when you come across a book you know you should like, and you just can't, no matter how hard you try? That's how this one was for me. The beginning was terrific, started off with a bang
...more
Kolleen

***SPOILERS*** This book was neither outstanding or terrible, it just was. Overall, I liked it, it just wasn't a page-turner, and I'm not exactly sure I would recommend it. The story is ulitmately about the heartbreaking reality of the mundane, everyday life... about how sometimes, life isn't happy or end happy, life just is. Although this story was about death, I feel it centered on the infidelity of Eva, the main character's, former husband. The affair led to the demise of the entire family, a

...more
Judith
This story is about a family; more specifically about three members of the family. Mark and Eva have two children, Emily and Daisy, when Mark feels compelled to tell Eva of his affair. Eva is not of the forgive-and-forget variety, but she does retain affection for Mark even through their divorce and her eventual remarriage to John. The two have one child together, Theo, and on his many visits to the house Mark becomes fond of the boy too.

Eventually Mark tries to do better. He recognizes that he
...more
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3517
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Sue Miller (born November 29, 1943 in Chicago) is an American writer who has authored a number of best-selling novels. Her duties as a single mother left her with little time to write for many years, and as a result she did not publish her first novel until 1986, after spend
...more
More about Sue Miller...
While I Was Gone The Good Mother The Senator's Wife Family Pictures The Arsonist

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