The Lake Shore Limited by Sue Miller

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Synopsis

Four unforgettable characters beckon you into this spellbinding new novel from Sue Miller, the author of 2008’s heralded best seller The Senator’s Wife. First among them is Wilhelmina—Billy—Gertz, small as a child, fiercely independent, powerfully committed to her work as a playwright. The story itself centers on The Lake Shore Limited—a play Billy has written about an imagined terrorist bombing of that train as it pulls into Union Station in Chicago, and about a man waiting to hear the fate of his estranged wife, who is traveling on it. Billy had waited in just such a way on 9/11 to hear whether her lover, Gus, was on one of the planes used in the attack.

The novel moves from the snow-filled woods of Vermont to the rainy brick sidewalks of Boston as the lives of the other characters intersect and interweave with Billy’s: Leslie, Gus’s sister, still driven by grief years after her brother’s death; Rafe, the actor who rises to greatness in a performance inspired by a night of incandescent lovemaking; and Sam, a man irresistibly drawn to Billy after he sees the play that so clearly displays the terrible conflicts and ambivalence of her situation.

How Billy has come to create the play out of these emotions, how it is then created anew on the stage, how the performance itself touches and changes the other characters’ lives—these form the thread that binds them all together and drives the novel compulsively forward.

A powerful love story; a mesmerizing tale of entanglements, connections, and inconsolable losses; a marvelous reflection on the meaning of grace and the uses of sorrow, in life and in art: The Lake Shore Limited is Sue Miller at her dazzling 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 March 25, 2010 by Vintage. 338 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Lake Shore Limited

Kirkus Reviews

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As Leslie struggles to understand what the play means about Billy and Gus’s relationship, the actor Rafe, who is playing the lead, also finds the play hitting close to home.

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The New York Times

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It reminds him of the ugly emotions he sometimes felt during the long, debilitating illness of his first wife, Susan, how impatient he sometimes felt “for it to be over, just to be over, so that whatever would follow it — his life, he felt — could begin.” Rafe, the actor who plays Gabriel, ...

Apr 22 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lake Shore Limited

The New York Times

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another balks at reconciling with his estranged wife, considering it “an admission of failure, .

Apr 16 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lake Shore Limited

The Guardian

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In Sue Miller's new novel, it is also the title of a play about love and loss, marriage, divorce and death – key Miller themes – that forms the linchpin of the book and irrevocably connects the four main characters.

Jul 11 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lake Shore Limited

New York Journal of Books

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Be among the first to read an in depth professional review—we post midnight, date of release.

Apr 06 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lake Shore Limited

Entertainment Weekly

Oprah favorite Sue Miller (The Senator's Wife) returns with a refracted rhombus of a novel, The Lake Shore Limited, relayed via four intertwined narratives.

Apr 14 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lake Shore Limited

The Washington Post

Miller teases out the complicated feelings of affection and resistance between Leslie and Billy a little, but then the curtain rises, literally, and the play begins.

Apr 21 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lake Shore Limited

The Telegraph

The American author Sue Miller’s latest novel begins as New Englander Leslie prepares to attend a preview of a play called 'The Lake Shore Limited’.

Jun 27 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lake Shore Limited

USA Today

Her other characters are similarly restricted by this-is-the-hand-you're-dealt fate and in their own responses to less public tragedies.One, Rafe, the star of Billy's play and the one character who's only tenuously intertwined with the others and therefore vaguely gratuitous is quietly, shamefu...

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Oregon Live

At the heart of this novel, Billy wrestles with the dishonesty of her position since Gus' death, her play a brave attempt to end its corrosive effect on her.

May 01 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lake Shore Limited

Review (Barnes & Noble)

Now, six years after that tragedy, Leslie has decided to set Billy up on a blind date with her pal, Sam.

Apr 29 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lake Shore Limited

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

AUTHOR WEBSITE: Wikipedia page on Sue Miller EXTRAS: Reading Guide and Excerpt MORE ON MOSTLYFICTION: Read our review of:The Senator’s Wife Bibliography: The Good Mother (1986) Inventing the Abbotts and Other Stories (1987) Family Pictures (1990) For Love (1993) The Distinguishe...

Apr 08 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lake Shore Limited

Bookmarks Magazine

And there's a lovely house-of-mirrors effect in Miller's use of Billy's play as the book's story-within-a-story: We watch Billy and Rafe as they go through the process of creativity, wondering how close that might be to Miller's as she creates them."

Apr 05 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lake Shore Limited

The Anniston Star

There's a performance of a play at the start of this subtly rendered new novel from Sue Miller, author of The Good Mother and The Senator's Wife.

Jul 16 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lake Shore Limited

Reader Rating for The Lake Shore Limited
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