Laurie's Reviews > The Lake Shore Limited

The Lake Shore Limited by Sue Miller
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's review
Dec 19, 2011

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Read in December, 2011

There is a passage toward the end of the book where one of the characters is talking to a college theater student about some critique the professor had given: "Yes. You said no one Amelia's age would keep saying, 'Oh. My. God!' all the time. You said, 'One would hope with age comes maybe not wisdom ... but at the least an enhanced vocabulary." Well, I can certainly say that the characters in this book speak with an enhanced vocabulary. It's one of the things that bothered me about this book. I actually found the dialogue to be a little too formal, as though everyone should have been speaking with British accents. I don't know anyone of any age who speaks that way, but perhaps that's because I don't spend a lot of time around intellectuals or academics.

The irritating dialogue aside, I did find the story interesting and how you uncover things about each of the four characters as the book progresses. The story is told from the point of view of Leslie, Billy, Rafe, and Sam. Leslie was very close to her 14-years younger brother Gus, who died in 9/11. Billy, a playwright, used to date Gus and has written a play called The Lake Shore Limited about a terrorist attack on a train. Rafe is one of the lead actors in Billy's play. Sam is a friend of Leslie's who has been in love with her for several years. The book starts off with the characters watching the play and then takes us through the ways the play affects each character, whether via relationships or emotions or actions. I liked the ending and the way it doesn't come right out and tell you what happens but rather implies it with one simple sentence.

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