“MILLER WEAVES HER THEMES OF SECRECY, BETRAYAL AND FORGIVENESS INTO A NARRATIVE THAT SHINES.”
“FASCINATING . . . Despite having a loving husband, three vivacious daughters, a beautiful home in rural Massachusetts, and satisfaction in her work, Jo Becker’s mind is invaded by a persistent restlessness. Then, an old roommate reappears to bring back Jo’s memories of her early 20s. . . . Her obsession with that period of her life and with the crime that concluded it eventually estrange Jo from everything she holds dear, causing her to tell lie after lie as she is pulled closer to this man from her past–and to a horrible secret.”
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In her still startling debut, The Good Mother, Sue Miller explored the premium we put on passion--and the terrible burden it places on a mother and child. Her fourth novel, While I Was Gone, is another study in familial crime and punishment. But this time, her wife and good mother is accessory to more than emotional malfeasance. Jo Becker has everything a woman could desire: a loving spouse, contented children, and a nice dog or two. When her New England veterinary practice takes on a new client, however, her past comes back to haunt her. Long ago, it seems, Jo had escaped her family and identity for a commune in Cambridge. Her Aquarian illusions came to an abrupt, bloody end when one of her housemates was brutally murdered.
Now this unhappy era returns in the person of Eli Mayhew, who had been the odd man out in Jo's boho household. His appearance is both tantalizing and upsetting: "Inside, I slowed down. I felt numbed. I had two last patients, and then I told Beattie to go home, that I'd close up.... I refiled the last charts, sprayed and wiped the examining table. I reviewed my list of routine surgeries for Wednesday. All the while I was thinking of Eli Mayhew, and of Dana and Larry and Duncan and me, and our lives in the house. Of the horrible way it had all ended." Sue Miller's fine novel is a penetrating--and sensuous--portrait of a woman besieged by her conscience. While I Was Gone also demonstrates that in the face of distance and betrayal, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing indeed. --Winnie WheatonFrom the Publisher:
"[A] riveting new nove ...The narrative pacing is masterly, building tension even in the most psychologically subtle passages ...The scenes are emotionally textured ...But most impressive is the complex portrait of the protagonist...While I Was Gone celebrates what is impulsive in human nature."--Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times
"This is gripping, close-to-the-bone fiction...For the narrator, keeping part of herself secret becomes central to her identity...While I Was Gone urges us to consider, very carefully, what's best told and what's best kept private."--Dan Cryer, Newsday
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Book Description Ballantine Books, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New item. May have light shelf wear. Bookseller Inventory # BK0125909
Book Description Ballantine Books, Westminster, Maryland, U.S.A., 2000. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. Brand new book, no damage. No marks. Includes Reading Group discussion topics. Bookseller Inventory # 000830
Book Description Ballantine Books, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0345435001
Book Description Ballantine Books, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110345435001
Book Description Ballantine Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0345435001 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1040640