Lost in the Forest
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For nearly two decades, since the publication of her iconic first novel, The Good Mother, Sue Miller has distinguished herself as one of our most elegant and widely celebrated chroniclers of family life, with a singular gift for laying bare the interior lives of her characters. In each of her novels, Miller has written with exquisite precision about the experience of grace in daily life–the sudden, epiphanic recognition of the extraordinary amid the ordinary–as well as the sharp and unexpected motions of the human heart away from it, toward an unruly netherworld of upheaval and desire. But never before have Miller’s powers been keener or more transfixing than they are in Lost in the Forest, a novel set in the vineyards of Northern California that tells the story of a young girl who, in the wake of a tragic accident, seeks solace in a damaging love affair with a much older man.
Eva, a divorced and happily remarried mother of three, runs a small bookstore in a town north of San Francisco. When her second husband, John, is killed in a car accident, her family’s fragile peace is once again overtaken by loss. Emily, the eldest, must grapple with newfound independence and responsibility. Theo, the youngest, can only begin to fathom his father’s death. But for Daisy, the middle child, John’s absence opens up a world of bewilderment, exposing her at the onset of adolescence to the chaos and instability that hover just beyond the safety of parental love. In her sorrow, Daisy embarks on a harrowing sexual odyssey, a journey that will cast her even farther out onto the harsh promontory of adulthood and lost hope.
With astonishing sensuality and immediacy, Lost in the Forest moves through the most intimate realms of domestic life, from grief and sex to adolescence and marriage. It is a stunning, kaleidoscopic evocation of a family in crisis, written with delicacy and masterful care. For her lifelong fans and those just discovering Sue Miller for the first time, here is a rich and gorgeously layered tale of a family breaking apart and coming back together again: Sue Miller at her inimitable best.
by being touched in this idle way whose meaning she doesn’t truly understand. Now she pokes Daisy off the counter and hands her a bowl of salad to take to the table. Then they are all trailing her, picking up the dishes and glasses she asks them to bring. As Mark comes into the dining room with their wineglasses and the bottle, he asks Eva where she wants him. She’s setting Theo into his booster chair, pushing him in. “There,” she says, pointing. “At the head of the table, please.” Theo
participating in a kind of prayer, a quiet celebration of the careful and painstaking work that must have gone into creating it.” —Boston magazine “Miller is a master of the domestic drama.” —The Oregonian “[Miller’s] ear for dialogue and her sense of family relationships are both unerring.” —The Seattle Times ALSO BY SUE MILLER The Story of My Father The World Below While I Was Gone The Distinguished Guest For Love Family Pictures Inventing the Abbotts The Good Mother Lost in the
opened her eyes and looked up at him. “You are so wonderfully good at this.” He was smiling, and she smiled back. “Would you like me to give you pleasure the way you give yourself pleasure?” “Yes,” she whispered. He lifted himself up off her and lay beside her again, propped on one elbow. “Unbutton your pants,” he said. Smiling, looking into his eyes, Daisy did nothing. “Please,” he said. She cleared her throat. “Pretty please,” she said. “Yes, pretty please.” He licked his finger and
stopped in front of her and said, “I’m so furious with you I can hardly speak.” “I’m sorry I was late,” Daisy said. Her voice was cold, and Eva’s face tightened. She moved away. They each carried several more loads and then Eva, coming back, stopped in the hallway again as Daisy was approaching her. “Why? Why were you so late?” Daisy set down the chairs. “Practice ran late.” Eva looked hard at her. “Daisy. I called over. Someone told me practice was done much earlier. At four or so.” “Yeah,
activities, to events in the Christian calendar, creep into her e-mails, so that her children, almost without remarking it to themselves or each other, come to understand her as a believer. Perhaps even to misremember her as someone who was always a believer. Daisy never mentions her abortion, or the depression, the sense of the uselessness of life, which followed it. She never mentions, either, the several years of therapy with Dr. Gerard—except to Mark, who pays for it; and even then, all she