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The Passage of Love

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  553 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Critically acclaimed, two-time winner of the Miles Franklin award, winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize and numerous other literary awards, Miller's new work is an exquisitely personal novel of love and creativity.

Sitting in a New York park, an old man holds a book and tries to accept that his contribution to the future is over. Instead, he remembers a youthful yearni
Paperback, 592 pages
Published November 1st 2017 by Allen & Unwin
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  553 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-top-five
This is a beautiful book with a lovely pace. It follows the life of a marriage and the creative life of those individuals in the marriage. It shows the consequences when those in the marriage become stuck emotionally and creatively. It also shows how the expectations of others can weigh us down, but they can also lift us up.

The book has a distinctive masculine voice, but it is the voice of a man who longs for connection and is open and mature about his emotional life. I have read a few books abo
Wendy Bridges
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a reader this unputdownable book made me want to re-read Alex Miller's entire backliist. A moving story of intimacy and the search for personal truth.

As a writer this book reminded me to write what I love and to never give up.
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How apropos to finish this book on Australia Day, an author who is quickly becoming my favourite Australian author and one of my favs period. This is a long rambling novel, told in flashback as an 80+-year-old successful author. It is his story of finding love and success and the friends, male and female who guided him and gave him encouragement along the way. It is a love story also of the faded life of farmers who lived off the land out in the bush. It is a book about regrets and living life t ...more
Edgarr Alien Pooh
"Many thanks to Allen and Unwin for providing me with this ARC.

The book starts with the author speaking to us first person as he drives North from Melbourne to make an appointment in a women's prison, where he will read chapters from his latest book. It then reverts to the time of his arrival in our Great Sothern Land.............

The Passage of Love centres around Robert Crofts, a young man who arrives alone, from England, in the mid 1950's and finds work as a stockman in the hot centre of far n
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It’s no secret that Alex Miller is one of my favourite authors, and this novel, which is the thinly veiled story of his own life, is probably my favourite book of the year. Another truly immersive read, I devoured almost all 550-plus pages in the space of a weekend, but then eked it out for another fortnight because I simply did not want the tale to end.

It’s filled with angst, love and cruelty, as well as the struggle to be true to oneself, to find your place in the world and to find the courage
Lesley Moseley
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 3/4... Perhaps when I read "The Tivington Nott" and loved the undertow, it has helped me thoroughly enjoy this new book. Hard to explain, other than accepting the concept of being a catalyst for change, in other lives, as I have unwittingly been, many times in my own life.
I must find a way to see who I have awarded the most stars to which author. Have a feeling it might well be Alex Miller.
Steve lovell
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Summer is supposedly the time for effortless reads in the sun, so perhaps it was somewhat perverse of me to tackle two of Alex Miller's tomes at this time of year – his mint new offering 'The Passage of Love' and one that had been hanging around on my shelves for a while, 'Autumn Laing' (2011). Miller is one of my favourites, up there with Winton. He is also a national literary treasure and I think 'Journey into Stone Country' and 'Coal Creek' are masterpieces. He won the Miles Franklin for the ...more
Suzie Bull
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Alex Miller writes with such beautiful prose. He is the master of capturing the essence of men's friendships. Reading Alex each time is a pleasure.
Sonia Nair
Oct 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Not usually my kind of book, but I picked it up for a reviewing gig. I enjoyed this more than I thought I would, but I didn't think the relationship at the centre of the novel was convincing. I also thought the narrative style of oscillating between first and third-person was distracting and despite its mammoth size, the last few chapters felt incredibly rushed.
Caroline Poole
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Some authors just take you on such an amazing journey with, it seems, such effortless ease, this was one of those times. Absolutely loved it, didn't want to say goodbye to Robert Croft and his life! Now looking forward to reading more from this fantastic author!!!!
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Quite possibly the best book I’ve ever read.
Marcus Hobson
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a big fan of the novels of Alex Miller, I was excited to see a new book of his appear. I was also curious to read on the back cover that this is his own story, cast in the mould of fiction.

There were two incredibly powerful themes in this book. One is about the power that relationships have to shape our lives, and the other is about what I call writing from a distance. It is hard to write about a situation or a setting when you are in the middle of it. Writing with the benefit of distance, w
Brona's Books
Sep 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Sorry Alex, but I'm giving up on this one.
May 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: life
I thought this book would never end. Whilst it was a tour de force of life, I found it too depressing.
I loved "Coal Creek" and that was the reason I chose to try this one, highly acclaimed, by the same author. It was more of a literary sojourn than a good, well written story which I found Coal Creek to be.

Having said that, I know there will be lots of experienced readers who will like it and Alex Miller was probably after such acclaim from respected reviewers. There was much to contemplate abou
Sally Forest
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
The Passage of Love – Alex Miller
The most stunning feature of this very personal and unusual novel is Miller’s depiction of loving relationships. He demonstrates that each couple has elements of attraction and joint experience that bind them together, but also jagged conflicts that drive them to unhappiness or despair, or flight. Can any person really know another fully? Miller builds a narrative of events, challenges and failures around these relationship tensions.
Birte and Martin together can
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: won
I’m one of those people who never wins anything, so I was pleasantly surprised when I won this book from a Goodreads giveaway (please note – the version I review below is an uncorrected proof).

There isn’t one genre or other that I favour, but this book isn’t one that I would have naturally gravitated toward. Truthfully, I found it difficult to get into the story, and consequently, it took me a long time to finish it. There were elements of the book that I admired; however, I do question the moti
Sharon Jarvis
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing

What a beautiful story! While a simple story it abounds with complex emotions and situations.
Told from the perspective of Robert Croft the reader is led through his path towards being a writer.

I was impressed with the style of writing which flowed easily while at the same time portraying detailed and vivid descriptions of people, places and situations. The change of narrative stye was also interesting - the past was in the third person while the recent past and present are told in first person-
Donné Gallinetti
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Truly a beautiful book. Initially, I did not think I would continue with it, but once I got into it, I wanted to race through and absorb it but also did not want to finish it: beautiful descriptions and memories of Australia. This book made me feel as if I was genuinely entangled in the story myself. What a talented writer, I cannot wait to read more of his books.
Maha Abed
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read it. So much life in Miller’s words.
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely Wonderful. A quiet, gentle story of a relationship. So heart breaking but beautifully written. A book that has remained with me. I loved it
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This novel is autobiographical fiction.
For me this novel was all engrossing- I felt like I was part of the story. Moving and sad in places- life is a passage of love.
Book Bazaar
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Miller's writing is always stunning. This isn't my favourite, but still a 4 out of 5. He evoked time and place really well and the complexities of the relationships were beautifully written.
Andrew Buay
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As the photographer of the image in the front cover, I was delighted to recently receive an advanced copy of The Passage of Love by Alex Miller.

On the surface, The Passage of Love is Alex Miller's autobiography masterfully woven into fiction in the life and enigmatic relationship of Robert Crofts, an aspiring writer, and Lena Soren, a middle class Melbourne girl seeking to break free from the bondage of her disciplined upbringing. However, the novel represents a much deeper theme of "central co
Ann Koenig
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book - so descriptive and emotive
Carolyn Mck
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I began reading this novel I was not aware that it was a fictionalised autobiography. However, as I’m familiar with Miller’s previous work and know something about his life, it didn’t take me long to work it out. I found this a brave, sensitive and intelligent book written by an old man (Miller is now over 80) looking back on a particular period of his life, when he was finding his way as a writer and also when he met and married his first wife (‘Lena’ in the novel).

I think it took Miller s
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
This is the author's own story, reading as though it's fiction. I struggled to get into this novel at first, with it opening in modern times, but then found myself wanting to know more as it delved into history and the main characters reflections on his life. This trip down memory lane is about inner struggles of finding and following your passions versus the reality of expectations - both your expectations of yourself and those within relationships and society in general.
Set in earlier, seemin
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this memoir/novel by Alex Miller. A deeply moving story of the struggles of youth- young love, purpose, ambition, belonging- and writing. I felt for the people in this book. I laughed and I cried. The current day reflections are poignant, and add depth. Even when dealing with heavy topics it was easy to read and beautifully written (I started noting down quotes because they truly resonated with me). I could have rushed through this book because it was so good, but I'm glad I was forced t ...more
Chris Waterford
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book as I have loved most of Alex Miller's books. This is the authors own story, written as fiction, but he says it is all true and that made it more interesting for me. It's a story about his journey towards writing his first book, through various years and jobs---and the story of three loves that he had along the way---all prior to eventually meeting his wife of 43 years. It's also a searingly honest account of his emotional journey---his anger, his cruelty (at times), being split ...more
Mar 25, 2018 rated it liked it
I went to hear the psychotherapist Irvin Yalom speak a few days ago. He spoke along these lines, amongst other things: “I feel that as I've gotten into my later decades — my 70s and 80s — I'm feeling a lot of comfort and a lot of lack of stress at this point. I think it has a lot to do with not living a life that's full of regrets. I work with that concept a whole lot with my patients; they talk about all the regrets they have about what's happened in the past, and I like to focus in on What's y ...more
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've thought long and hard about how to review this novel. I received a free copy from the publisher in an online competition and want to thank them, but actually recording my thoughts has proven difficult. Anyway, here goes...

This is the first of Alex Miller's novels that I've read, although I own one other which is in the TBR pile. His writing is exquisite; so descriptive and evocative, but I'm not entirely sure about the story itself and the characters. I understand it's mostly autobiographic
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Alex Miller is one of Australia's best-loved writers, and winner of the Melbourne Prize for Literature 2012.

Alex Miller is twice winner of Australia's premier literary prize, The Miles Franklin Literary Award, first in 1993 for The Ancestor Game and again in 2003 for Journey to the Stone Country. He is also an overall winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, in 1993 for The Ancestor Game. His fi

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“She said evenly, ‘We’re both doing our best. That’s what we’re doing. It isn’t everything the dream of love is supposed to be, but it’s the best we can do. It’s us, isn’t it? This is who we are. You and I doing our best. That will have to be enough, won’t it? Haven’t we learned not to make foolish promises to each other and to ourselves? It’s harder than we thought it was going to be. We’ve learned that. It’s not as simple as we thought it was. We’re no longer the people we were then.” 0 likes
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