For Love
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For Love

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  938 ratings  ·  62 reviews
With insight and intelligence, Sue Miller explores the intricates of family and loveLottie Gardner, her brother, Cameron, and their childhood friend Elizabeth have all come together in their hometown of Cambridge, Massachusetts, after years of separation. Lottie is barraged with memories of the past as she packs up her mother's house and witnesses the rekindling of an old...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 9th 1999 by Harper Perennial (first published 1993)
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For Love, oh I loathe thee. I understand that Ms Miller is a fine writer. Than why would she waste her talent and squandor it on this predictable and overwrought tale of lost love and lost innoncence. Overly reflective to the point where halfway through the book, you expect the author to be standing outside your door with a rubber mallet waiting to beat you over the head while yelling "Reflect? Reflect!" Yes, it's that good.
Jackie Simons
Read 6/96
Jayne Charles
I think ninety percent of the action in this novel takes place in the opening chapter. A tragic event occurs therein, but as the book progresses it becomes clear that this will be nothing more than a side issue, the main business of the novel being the introspection and detailed character analysis that Sue Miller specialises in. She seems to take the angst found in teenage novels and superimpose it on her middle-aged characters. Oh yes we can certainly suffer in our forties. Character developmen...more
Diana Dupre
Was extremely painful to read. The amount of reminiscing she does in this story is just too much to take. I had to force myself to finish this book, at about half way I wanted to throw it from my balcony. Even the one sex scene felt disjointed and rather unfeeling. Indulgent in her own past and after all this book takes you through she still doesn't come to her husband in a passionate AND loving way, rather in a way that she feels he is her best option so why not.

I am tense and want to shake thi...more
While the self-absorption of the characters was difficult to stomach at times, it was interesting to catch a glimpse of how baby boomers view the role of the psyche in familial and romantic love. Gen-Xers and younger readers might struggle with how seriously the characters take themselves, but it is weirdly entertaining to get lost in a character and take on her obsessions. Of course, you could also re-read Jane Eyre and scratch the same itch.
Ben Eggleston
This is a very fine novel about a woman figuring out what to do at a crossroads in her life. The main character, Lottie, lives in Chicago and is a non-fiction writer who has recently started her second marriage. She is having second thoughts about it, and while spending the summer in Boston getting her aging mother's house ready to sell, she reflects on her circumstances. Her own life during that summer is relatively uneventful compared to the lives of the people she interacts with the most - he...more
Amy Snyder
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kimberly Sullivan
Like much of Sue Miller’s work, this book’s slow, gentle rhythms carry the reader along as he or she delves into the life of the protagonist, forty-three-year old Lottie Gardner. For Love opens with a brutal accident, which acts as the catalyst for events that follow. The book follows Lottie during a summer she has returned to her childhood home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, following years of physical absence and emotional distance from her difficult, alcoholic mother. While back to clear out h...more
I've enjoyed Sue Miller in the past, and I still enjoy her ability to weave intriguing stories. This one starts in medias res, and goes back and forth. Flashbacks are common in Miller's books, but it was only when I was reading this one that they actually started driving me nuts. The main character, Lottie, is often found sitting on her back stoop, or driving, and then, inevitably, flashing back. And then startling back to the present again because of a noise in the kitchen or something.

Reading this book that has sat on my book shelf for way too long reminded me why I love Sue Miller and her style of writing. She pulls you in and makes you care about the characters inspite of their flaws. Just what is love? How would we deal with love lost, or a love found (or then, is it really what it seems?). Love that drives a personality a bit over the edge? How would we react to a difficult situation, to things we'd rather not believe to be true? There were times I wished I had jotted dow...more
Not my favorite book of hers. The rapid moving back and forth from before to after the event was way confusing. I had strong emotions about the characters but didn't like the end
I know I read this because I remember the cover, but I don't remember a single thing about the plot, hence the 2 stars. It might be better than that, but I just can't recall...
Stephanie Dahlberg
I usually like the selections from my friend, Jayne. This was an exception, I am sorry to say.

The main character, Lottie/Charlotte/Char is tooooooo reflective to the point of self-indulgence. I kept wanting to tell her to get over herself and give the folks around her a break. She wasn't worth the hassles and heartaches not to mention her unbelieveable inconsideration toward those closest to her. She was good to those who were bad to her and bad to those who were good to her. What's wrong with...more
Beautifully written compelling story about class and money, about the complexities of childhood friendships, and finally (of course) about what love is and the difference between the sparkly obsession of wanting a love you know you can't have and a steady but less sparkly love. This story resonated with me on many levels -- I have known so many Elizabeths: privileged, entitled, upper crusties who like to dabble with "downtown" boys but look their nose down at all of them. I liked Lottie. She has...more
I love Sue Miller's characters - she creates people you come to know & understand. Her characters typically react & act as you imagine they should. As the title indicates the book explores the things we will do for love - and also the things we won't do for love. The story includes the many loves in our lives - love between parents & children, our partners in life, our friends & companions, brothers & sisters - for each character these many layers of love are experienced diff...more
This was a pretty average book. I liked the story line but there was nothing special about it. In a few weeks I will probably forget what this story was even about. I didn't neccessarily like the characters, but I didn't dislike them either (unless I was supposed to). They were just ordinary people who did nothing to make themselves stand out.

This book did make me think about the things that I have done for love though. Its fitting for my life because in the last year I have done things I didn'...more
Dawn Kiron
I love Sue Millet's writhing. I always get lost in her books and her characters are so relate able and accessible.
Sue Miller is certainly a skilled writer and there is possibility in this story. Yet it seems to have maybe been suited to a short story form. There is just not enough in the story or characters to be in novel form. Reading this for the most part felt like plodding through to get to some passage or paragraph that was fully formed. The characters are not especially engaging, neither wholly likable or disliked. To put it bluntly, this story of what we do for love read more as a monographic treatis...more
Joy H.
Apr 27, 2014 Joy H. marked it as decided-not-to-read-it
Added 4/18/14.
I decided not to read this book. The first few pages were confusing to me. Why bother to go on?
I find this book quite compelling; have re-read it several times. What makes it particularly interesting, I think, is that it presents an aspect of love not very often seen in literature: the love and loyalty we feel for our adult siblings.

For some reason, it reminds me of the poignant fairytale in which the woman must weave coats to rescue her brothers who have been magicked into swans. In spite of her best efforts, she can't save them all... or is my imagination working overtime here?
I do like Sue Miller but this was pretty plodding. Despite the fact that something big does happen -- an accidental car crash, resulting in a death -- it happens in the beginning and the rest of the book ends up being a tedious exploration of the things that people do "for love," as in the title. I think that Miller has gotten better the more she writes. This was early stuff.
Someone gave me this book and I failed to check it out on Goodreads first. Ha! In the first two chapters there was an affair gone wrong, a girl mowed down by a car, another marriage failing... I was just grateful to put it down and get back to my own minor tragedies in real life. Don't let this taint your idea of Miller. I'll try some of her others but skip this one.
I picked up "For Love" after reading and loving "The Senator's Wife," but was much disappointed. I couldn't bring myself to care about any of the characters in the story (and there were many), especially the main character of Lottie. The adults in the story seemed to refuse to grow up, and as a result their lives seemed erratic messes. I wouldn't recommend this book at all!
Oct 10, 2007 Cindy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: women of a certain age
I enjoyed listening to the inner voice of the main character, Lottie. Her ruminations about the separateness of people we love helped me to stop worrying (or at least worry less) about my son and his adjustment to high school. I'm going to be there for him, but also let him have his own experiences and feelings.
This is a nice story with interesting characters.
I don't quite know what to make of this book. I didn't necessarily like the story, but it was told well. The characters do not share my personality or world view, but the author shared these points of view with me well.
It is an in depth look at relationships. So if you like reading about relations- love, lovers, family, generations, you may enjoy this book.
This was...interesting. Not great, but not awful. Probably the thing I found most disconcerting was her jumping in time all the time. Most of the book takes place over a short period of time, but she jumps back and forth like some stream of consciousness.
Not my favorite of Ms. Miller's novels....bittersweet and a little strange. She attempted to show what lengths we would go to "for love", but I just felt sad for the characters, rather than enlightened as to what they realized by the end.
Mar 21, 2011 Jane added it
Cleaning out mother's home. thinking of leaving new husband, man she has had a 6 yr affair with while his wife was dying. brother, Cam and affair with old flame, Elizabeth, old neighborhood friends. Cam kinda crazy. Son helping to paint house.
Sue can really get into her characters and spin a tale. Could hardly put it down. Although I must say I wanted to shake the main female character. She seemed a bit of a whiner. But the story was so well told that I highly recommend it.
I usually love Sue Miller, but this was my least favorite of her novels. I didn't care for any of the flawed characters. The writing was good though, so that definitely pushed me to to continue to read it and somewhat enjoy it.
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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
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