Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Monogamy” as Want to Read:
Monogamy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Monogamy

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  10,848 ratings  ·  1,560 reviews
A brilliantly insightful novel, engrossing and haunting, about marriage, love, family, happiness and sorrow, from New York Times bestselling author Sue Miller.

Graham and Annie have been married for nearly thirty years. A golden couple, their seemingly effortless devotion has long been the envy of their circle of friends and acquaintances. 

Graham is a bookseller, a big, gre
...more
Hardcover, 338 pages
Published September 8th 2020 by Harper
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Monogamy, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Rena I didn't experience it as linear as it jumps around in time. I also think the core marriage is the main story. I felt cradled by her writing, masterfu…moreI didn't experience it as linear as it jumps around in time. I also think the core marriage is the main story. I felt cradled by her writing, masterfully tying up loose ends. It has a crescendo emotionally. Maybe it's just not your kind of book.(less)
Tory This frustrated me too, the whole first part of the book I thought was current until I was much further in. There is mention of the main character bei…moreThis frustrated me too, the whole first part of the book I thought was current until I was much further in. There is mention of the main character being a little girl in the late 40s/early 50s, and I believe Graham's first marriage was in the 60s. As other have noted, the later parts of the book are somewhere around 2008. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,848 ratings  ·  1,560 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Monogamy
Angela M
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the title seems to reflect, this book is about marriage, but it really is about so much more - grief, self awareness and discovery, about family and a father, mothers and their son and daughter and about friendships and yes about a husband and his wives. These relationships beg a number of thought provoking questions.

Graham is a big man in all ways, a needy man, self centered, open to life’s experiences, a father, an ex husband, a husband, an adulterer, but everyone loves him. I can’t say I l
...more
Elyse  Walters
Oct 03, 2020 rated it liked it
So much for my high expectations....
.... a married couple, a bookseller, ( in lovely Vermont), and a photographer....should have been interesting enough for me.
Add the nice house in Cambridge, adult children, ( living in New York and San Francisco), a first wife, friendships between the two women: Annie, (present wife), & Frieda, ( ex-wife), Graham,(the charming man), the kids, a death and surprise infidelity.....sounds like the perfect enlightening book.....
ha....
except it wasn’t for me.

There
...more
lisa
Occasionally I will run into someone I don't know very well, or even a total stranger, and for some reason they will begin to tell me some endless story about some small thing in their life that they seem to think is very significant, and very important. These endless stories are so unbelievably boring that I often have to cut these inane storytellers off with a quick, "Wow, I'm running late, but great story, byeee!!!!" Reading this book felt like being stuck in one of these excruciating convers ...more
Julie
Jan 11, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
Monogamy by Sue Miller is a 2020 Harper publication.

Takes the long way home…

This is my first novel by Sue Miller.Based on the synopsis, I was hoping for some dark secret to emerge that would explain Graham’s infidelity, but, as it turns out, the story doesn’t offer that as an out.

We have two people with very different temperaments- Annie- who is a photographer and more reserved, and Graham, who is the outgoing owner of a bookstore.

Despite the differences between them, Graham and Annie have be
...more
Diane S ☔
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seeing into the heart of families, reflected in her amazing character portrayals are all apparent in this insightful and quiet novel. Marriages, motherhood, friendships and grief. Finding out at the end of a person's life, that they had perhaps not been the person you thought they were. Love, how much did it matter? Do we ever truly know how deep inside a person feels or thinks? Possibly not.

Annie, Graham, their wonderful bookshop all seem so very real. I actually felt at times that I could run
...more
QOH
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, no
A novel which revolves around a penis obsessed middle-aged man, even if written by a woman with impeccable credentials, is still a novel which revolves around a penis obsessed middle-aged man. There is no spin that can make this fresh or new. Please. Just stop.
Brandice
Dec 10, 2020 rated it liked it
In Monogamy Annie, an introvert photographer, and Graham, a lively bookseller, have been married for years. They have two adult children. When Graham dies unexpectedly, Annie must grapple with the loss of her husband and her feelings toward him as she learns more about his life, including the fact that that he was unfaithful to her.

Monogamy started off strong — Early on, I was interested in the story, it’s very well-written with descriptive, flowing language. As it progressed, I felt an increas
...more
Jill
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
At one point in this immensely readable and page-turning new novel, one of the characters describes why we read fiction: “…because it suggests that life has a shape and we feel…consoled.” Fictional narrative, she goes on to say, makes life seem to matter.

It is that quality that I’ve enjoyed most in Sue Miller’s novels. Here, she sets up a storyline of a 30-year marriage: Graham is an oversized man in every sense of the word, guided by his appetite for life; Annie, his more reserved wife, is a ph
...more
Anne Bogel
Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Miller is a prolific writer, but this was my first time reading her work. I listened to this on audio, and thought the novel was wonderful in this format. It's the rare fiction author who narrates their own work, but Miller's narration of her story was top-notch.

Graham and Annie have a strong 30 year marriage. Graham owns a bookstore, and this is a fun thread throughout the novel because much of the couples' life revolves around bookstore events (they met at an author event!). Early in the book
...more
Mary Lins
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: complete
With a title like, “Monogamy”, you know going in that it’s going to be, in part, about adultery. And it is. But most essentially it’s about marriage, grief, family, and our uniquely American culture regarding these things. This is the first new novel by Sue Miller in six years, and I sat down and devoured it as I have all her others; to further press the metaphor, as after a delicious and plentiful meal, in the end I felt happily satiated.

“Monogamy” is the story of a particular marriage, that of
...more
Barbara
I listened to Sue Miller narrate her own novel, “Monogamy”. It’s a “quiet” story about a marriage (surprise), and its quiet strength is in all the character’s thoughts. This is not an action-packed story. It’s a slow story revolving around the marriage of Annie and Graham. They have been married for over thirty years when Annie wakes up to a dead Graham. Graham is only in his mid-sixties, so it comes as a shock to Annie and all the characters in the story.

Their marriage is the second marriage f
...more
Alicia
Oct 10, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 5000-books-2020
So I spent all day Sunday, lost in this book, I purchased it as I usually enjoy Sue Miller, & admittedly, the day I ordered it, she was on Weekend Edition. with Noah Adams & the interview was goode.
I usually REALLY enjoy her books.
I admit it I am a book consumer. And the interview lulled me in.
Big Mistake!
I begin the read & I am:
"Okay, Graham takes up a LOT of the pages. His presence is just all over the place".
Keep Reading Alice.
I continued.
Some of the characters do not seem fully developed
...more
switterbug (Betsey)
Sue Miller’s MONOGAMY is a slow burn rather than a bright flame. Focusing on married couple Annie and Graham (second marriage for both), the chapters alternate between characters and time periods. The plot is more like a through-line in the story than a sequence of events, but before the end of the novel, you’ll see that the grief process is the main “action.” Grief associated with death, yes, but also other kinds of grief. Miller’s strength in conveying the pain of loss was authentic, moving, a ...more
Denise
Jul 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that is difficult to fairly rate, as there were some great and memorable parts, but at other times it was like a story that someone tells you and you know where it's going, but they just keep rambling on and on with every minor, trivial detail they could possibly throw in, and you wish they would just get to the point and be done with it. That's kind of how I felt about this book.

You know from the title and the back cover blurb that is a story about marriage, adultery
...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
“How fucking bourgeois can you be?”



Hahahaha. Am I an asshole or what? Okay, so this was a pretty major flop for me. When I hear things like “first wife” and “second wife” and “affair” and “DEAD” (!!!!!!) I get all excited for some good family throwdown shit. Unfortunately, this was B.O.R.I.N.G. It didn’t bring any of the drama I was expecting. Heck, it didn’t bring much of anything at all aside from me waking myself up snoring after I had dozed off. It wasn’t even more than average leng
...more
Asia
Nov 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
More like, Monotony.
BookOfCinz
Oct 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Started off promising but a bit of a let down in the end

This book had a lot going for it, the title, the cover, the premise and the writing but it kinda fell flat overall.

In Monogamy we meet long time married couple Graham and Annie who are both living and working in Vermont. Graham can be described as a teddy bear who co-owns and runs a Bookstore. Annie is a photographer who is in the midst of putting together a show that could land her back on the market. This is both Graham and Annie’s s
...more
Jackie Latham
Sep 17, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Pub dates keep changing on me which means I read this book early - it comes out September 8th from HarperCollins.

This novel felt so much like it was written by James Salter - if you like stories of lifelong relationships with all the ups and downs, or the impact of one death on the lives branching off from those LTRs, this is a novel for you. It's set in Connecticut but still somehow people have live an upper middle class existence while owning a bookstore and practicing a non lucrative photogra
...more
Emily Carlin
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
i simply don’t believe that none of the characters (“artsy,” upper middle class cantabrigians) would have a therapist. perhaps it because if anyone in this book did have a therapist, the plot would crumble.
Kasa Cotugno
We've seen this before. Well written, but nothing sparked for me except the gorgeous descriptions of meals in the past, the importance of food as a connective device, and the Nancy Meyers like interiors. ...more
Anni
Jul 28, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The premise of this novel is one that I have always found intriguing in fiction - i.e. how well do we really know anyone else, even the ones we have lived with for years - and the effects of time on our memories after an untimely death. This is a painstakingly in-depth, almost forensic dissection of how a person's view of their relationship or marriage is altered via the prism of time. Fans of Anne Tyler's character-driven novels may also enjoy Sue Miller's similar style of domestic fiction. ...more
Kiki
Sep 27, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca
(4.5) After 30 years of marriage, Annie and Graham are forced to scrutinize their relationship anew. Graham owns a cozy bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts and enjoys interviewing and introducing authors at events; Annie is a photographer who has never zeroed in on one subject for her art. Around them swirl a circle of family, friends and acquaintances: their daughter, Sarah; Frieda, Graham’s first wife; Lucas, his son from his first marriage, and later Lucas’s partner and baby girl; the McFar ...more
Barbara H
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I have always enjoyed Miller's books. I could not classify this as one of her better efforts. The Good Mother , written some time ago, was a novel which remains in my mind to this day. It was a deep, tragic study in human emotions. This offering moved along with very little degree of building tension .

To Be Continued
...more
Bonnie Brody
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sue Miller has always been one of my go-to writers. She hasn't written a book I didn't like. 'Monogamy' is no exception. The narrative and character development both shine.

The story focuses on Annie and Graham, a couple married for over 30 years, a second marriage for both. Annie is a relatively introverted photographer and Graham is an exuberant and bigger than life personality, owner of a Cambridge, Massachusetts book store. He describes himself as "a loud fat man who spends more of his time
...more
Claudia Piepenburg
Sep 24, 2020 rated it did not like it
Where do I start? Having never read anything by Ms. Miller but hearing good things about her writing, and hey! that nice review in the NYT, I figured that I'd shell out the twenty bucks or so and see what her "...important and compelling writing" is all about.

It wasn't easy for me to slog through this mess. Since when does a baby's cry sound like an old door opening and closing, you know...all creaky...like a door? Most of her similes and metaphors were as bad as that one.

Then there was the abun
...more
Paul Lockman
This is a really forensic examination of the marriage between Annie and Graham, the second marriage for both of them. Graham is a larger than life character, amiable, gregarious and is still good friends with his first wife Frieda. Both of his kids, Lucas from the first marriage and Sarah with Annie, absolutely adore him. Annie is somewhat more reserved and it’s from her point of view that the book is told. Graham and Frieda had an open marriage that began in the 1960s, the time of free love and ...more
debra
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I "disenjoyed" the book I read before this so much that my enjoyment of this novel was enhanced. ...more
Terris
Sep 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
This seems just to be a quiet story of a woman reviewing her marriage and her life. It was not dramatic in any way, it felt kind of soft and smooth and slow -- very "Sue Miller," I think. I've read several of hers but not for quite awhile. I first thought "What is this book about?" but then I just kind of let it flow over me, and that felt better. In the end, it felt good. If you are a Sue Miller fan, you'll enjoy this one :)
(Also, she read the audio book. Her voice was felt very calming.)
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Nothing to See Here
  • A Long Petal of the Sea
  • Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up: The Funniest WTF AM I DOING?! Novel of the Year
  • What We Carry: A Memoir
  • The Jetsetters
  • You Deserve Each Other
  • The Holdout
  • Silver Sparrow
  • Girls of Summer
  • Asha & the Spirit Bird
  • The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz
  • The Worst Best Man
  • The Lady's Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness
  • The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires
  • Modern Family: The Untold Oral History of One of Television's Groundbreaking Sitcoms
  • Period. It's About Bloody Time
  • Blooming Flowers: A Seasonal History of Plants and People
  • The Psalter
See similar books…
690 followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Sue Miller is an American novelist and short story 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 spending almost
...more

Articles featuring this book

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We’ve got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
46 likes · 15 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Just, that we read fiction because it suggests that life has a shape, and we feel . . . consoled, I think he said, by that notion. Consoled to think that life isn’t just one damned thing after another. That it has sequence and consequence.” She smiled at Edith. “I think it was more or less the idea that fictional narrative made life seem to matter, that it pushed away the meaninglessness of death.” 1 likes
“Love isn't just what two people have together, it's what two people make together, so of course, it's never the same.” 1 likes
More quotes…