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For Love

3.37  ·  Rating Details ·  1,339 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
With insight and intelligence, Sue Miller explores the intricates of family and love

Lottie 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

Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 9th 1999 by Harper Perennial (first published 1993)
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Jul 30, 2008 Joe rated it did not like it
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.
Apr 28, 2013 Kami rated it it was amazing
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
Jackie Simons
Read 6/96
Jul 20, 2014 Teddy rated it liked it
Shelves: chick-lit
Sue Miller holds nothing back in getting to the deeper aspects of relationships in this book that earns the honorable category of excellent chick lit. True to form, she exposes issues layer by layer as we learn about Lottie, her marriage, her family, and the recent changes in her life. As every detail is revealed, sometimes through the use of flashbacks (which I always thought were a no-no, but work perfectly here)and sometimes through the monologue of her own reflections on the events of the st ...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.

Lee D'Anna
Aug 30, 2014 Lee D'Anna rated it it was ok
I have enjoyed just about every Sue Miller book I've read but this one, not so much. While she does provide her usual in-depth character development, I thought they were rather narcissistic not very like able. The book is divided into three parts. Part one revolves around a disastrous life altering event and the rest of the book works to explain how the involvement of each of the characters relates to this event. Part two is spent reminiscing about the miserable childhood Lottie and her brother ...more
Ben Eggleston
Jan 19, 2014 Ben Eggleston rated it really liked it
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
Jayne Charles
Jul 24, 2011 Jayne Charles rated it really liked it
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
Sep 18, 2012 Diana Dupre rated it did not like it
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
Apr 08, 2010 Rachel rated it liked it
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.
Feb 22, 2012 Nicholas rated it it was ok
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.
Jan 01, 2012 Mel rated it really liked it
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.
Mary Kurey
May 26, 2017 Mary Kurey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sue Miller never fails me. AS always, this story rings true. Her characters are just like people we all know. Kept me entertained and had me asking myself some hard questions.
Peter Walenta
Jun 11, 2016 Peter Walenta rated it liked it
Clearly not one of Sue Miller's best novels, although For Love has enough sustained story interest to recommend it. The fact that there are not satisfactory resolutions at the end are the most exasperating features of the book. On the one hand it does closely capture how situations and relationships resolve in real life. Life is messy, people are unpredictable and a lot of stuff can't be nicely wrapped up with a pretty ribbon. But Miller created characters who were headed for bad ends and she di ...more
Jenni Ogden
Jul 30, 2015 Jenni Ogden rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is one of Sue Miller's older novels that I hadn't previously read. I am a firm fan of her writing and I love the way that as she grows older so does the protagonist in her latest book (sometimes, anyway). Thus she keeps in time with her long time readers as well. I enjoyed this one, where she showed again how to write so well the tiniest details; a master of showing, not telling. This is a story of a middle-aged woman at a crossroads in her life. A new marriage to an old lover which has los ...more
Amy Snyder
Jan 09, 2010 Amy Snyder rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kimberly Sullivan
Jun 24, 2013 Kimberly Sullivan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Maria Dispenza
Jun 01, 2016 Maria Dispenza rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So good

If there were enough Sue Miller books so that I could read a new one every week, I would read nothing but Sue Miller books forever!
Her characters feel so real to me, their lives so eminently plausible. She has a wonderful understanding, I think, of the human condition and how we relate to each other and the world. Her writing is so smart.
I loved Lottie, the main character, and I understood what made her tick. I've known people like Elizabeth, like Cam, like Jack. They are written so well
May 03, 2016 Dorothy rated it liked it
For Love is a good book, it is just confusing. Beginning with a main character who goes by 3 names, Charlotte, Char, and Lottie. The basic plot is a mother with Alzheimers that forces brothers and sisters to reunite for several weeks to clean out the family home in preparation to sell it. The story is complicated by a childhood friend Elizabeth who has temporarily moved back home with her mother after her husband betrays her. Elizabeth takes up and affair with the brother Cameron, but once her h ...more
Stephanie Dahlberg
May 14, 2012 Stephanie Dahlberg rated it did not like it
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
Feb 01, 2009 Janet rated it liked it
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
Dec 26, 2009 Ashley rated it liked it
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'
Sep 28, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it
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
Jul 18, 2011 Mary rated it did not like it
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
Sep 09, 2014 Peggy rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
The main character, Lottie, returns to Cambridge, MA to help her brother get their mother's house ready to sell.
Her brother re-kindles a romance with a long-ago neighbor who has left her husband. Lottie has escaped Chicago and her new second husband. Tragedy ensues and tension mounts. Miller deftly moves back and forth through time. She spends many pages in straight narrative and at other times fills pages with dialogue. Neither bored me or felt overdone.
Jul 17, 2010 Kate rated it really liked it
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?
Mar 08, 2008 Annie rated it did not like it
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!
Jan 18, 2012 Christi rated it did not like it
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.
Oct 08, 2007 Cindy rated it liked it
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.
Laurel Deloria
With insight and intelligence, Sue Miller explores the intricates of family and love Lottie 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...
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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
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