Summary and book reviews of Lost In The Forest by Sue Miller

Lost In The Forest

by Sue Miller

Lost In The Forest
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2005, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2006, 272 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A stunning, kaleidoscopic evocation of a family in crisis, written with delicacy and masterful care - a rich and gorgeously layered tale of a family breaking apart and coming back together again.

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.

Emily telephoned, his older daughter. "Can you come get us?" she said. "It's an emergency."

As usual, she didn't greet him, she didn't say hello at the start of the call. And also as usual, this bothered him, he felt a familiar pull of irritation at her voice, her tone. But even as he was listening to her, he was focused on steering the truck around the sharp curves in the narrow road, around several small heaps of rock that had slid down the steep hillside: he was feeling the pleasure he always took in the way the slanted afternoon light played on the yellowed grass and reddened leaves left in the vineyards, in the way the air smelled. He kept his voice neutral as he responded. "When? Now?"

In the background, behind her, Mark could hear someone give a sudden whoop. Festivities, he thought. As ever. Eva's face rose in his mind--his ex-wife. At the least excuse, there was a gathering at her house: to celebrate a ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
The introduction, discussion questions, and suggested reading list that follow are designed to enhance your group’s reading of Sue Miller’s Lost in the Forest. We hope they will provide useful ways of thinking and talking about a new book from an author who has distinguished herself as one of our most widely celebrated writers about the truest, deepest undercurrents in family life.


ABOUT THIS BOOK
Sue Miller’s powers have never 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...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

I know this sounds like pretty standard stuff but as I've said before (and will likely say again!) it's not what you tell, it's the way you tell it. In Miller's hands other people's lives are surprisingly interesting!   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Full Review Members Only (296 words).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

...examines love and betrayal in idyllic wine country in another minutely observed, finely paced exploration of domestic relationships.

Booklist - Joanne Wilkinson

Starred Review. In her riveting new novel, Miller once again demonstrates her singular gift for capturing the rhythms of daily family life... It's easy to underestimate Miller's artistry because her writing is never showy.

Kirkus Reviews

Miller at her best: engrossing characters and a plot that turns unexpected corners.

Reader Reviews

Dan Silver

Sue Miller--Subtle Wonderful Read
I don't know why, but for some reason Sue Miller's writing soars with more apparent ease than any author I know. The story is engaging, the conflicts make your heart stop at times, and there is nothing you are reading that seems to be taking you ...   Read More

Dianne

A question...not a review
I have partially read your new book, "Lost in the Forest", and like your others, it's a good read. But, I am discouraged on reading further because of the bold print of certain words/phrases on nearly every page. Why is that? My assumption is that ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Sue Miller was born in Chicago in 1943, the second of four children. She describes herself as 'a reader, a painter, an inventor of solitary projects, the quiet child in a fairly boisterous family'. When she was 16 she went to Radcliffe College, Harvard. She says that she was 'simply too young to have done this... overwhelmed, I stumbled unhappily around Harvard for four years'. She graduated at the age of 20 and was married 2 months later. She worked at a variety of jobs while supporting her husband through ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Lost In The Forest, try these:

  • The Burgess Boys jacket

    The Burgess Boys

    by Elizabeth Strout

    Published 2014

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Elizabeth Strout "animates the ordinary with an astonishing force," wrote The New Yorker on the publication of her Pulitzer Prize–winning Olive Kitteridge. The San Francisco Chronicle praised Strout's "magnificent gift for humanizing characters." Now the acclaimed author returns with a stunning novel as powerful and moving as any work in ...

  • The Hand that First Held Mine jacket

    The Hand that First Held Mine

    by Maggie O'Farrell

    Published 2011

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    A spellbinding novel of two women connected across fifty years by art, love, betrayals, secrets, and motherhood.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes

Books with similar themes


Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...
  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.