Lost in the Forest by Sue Miller

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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.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Sue Miller

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Sue Miller is the best-selling author of the novels Lost in the Forest, The World Below, While I Was Gone, The Distinguished Guest, For Love, Family Pictures, and The Good Mother; the story collection Inventing the Abbotts; and the memoir The Story of My Father. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
Published April 26, 2005 by Ballantine Books. 272 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lost in the Forest

Kirkus Reviews

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The children return to Eva’s house after a few days, but as the months pass, Mark finds himself wooing Eva through the kids, including Theo, for whom he forms quite a lovely attachment.

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The New York Times

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The one disappointment of ''Lost in the Forest'' is Miller's decision to interrupt her narrative with observations made ''long after all these events took place, when Daisy was looking back on the things that happened in the year and a half or so after John died and trying to figure out .

May 01 2005 | Read Full Review of Lost in the Forest

Publishers Weekly

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John's death becomes the locus of an elegant and careful investigation of loss—loss of love, loss of innocence—and the conflicts between men and women, parents and children, friends and lovers.

Feb 14 2005 | Read Full Review of Lost in the Forest

BC Books

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We just want to press the button and be happy.” It’s ironic, then, that an entire genre of fiction should have developed to focus on the dysfunctional family and its associated traumas and unhappiness.

Oct 24 2008 | Read Full Review of Lost in the Forest

BC Books

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This aspect of the book eventually leads to non-sequitur, since Daisy’s eventual admission of what transpired between her and another of the characters would, in reality, have led to disgrace, perhaps prosecution.

Oct 24 2008 | Read Full Review of Lost in the Forest

Book Reporter

Eva is crazed with grief, and so the three children live with Mark for a bit while Eva's friend, Gracie, cares for her.

Jan 07 2011 | Read Full Review of Lost in the Forest

Entertainment Weekly

But as in all six of Miller's tough, graceful novels, she pulls you into her everyday drama of people screwing up and mending (and screwing up again) their personal lives in endless, amazing variations.

Mar 30 2005 | Read Full Review of Lost in the Forest


Two very different fathers dominate Lost in the Forest: Mark, the handsome but feckless vineyard manager who has broken up his marriage by having a careless, almost yearlong affair with a local bartender, and John, the generous, bear like book publisher who then marries Mark's ex, Eva, and become...

Apr 18 2005 | Read Full Review of Lost in the Forest

Bookmarks Magazine

Kathryn Harrison Newsday 4 of 5 Stars "Miller sticks to one family, but unlike Ian McEwan or Jonathan Franzen, she isn’t trying to examine the state of the world through an intimate lens;

Jan 08 2008 | Read Full Review of Lost in the Forest

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