In the summer of 1968, Jo Becker ran out on the marriage and the life her parents wanted for her, and escaped, for one beautiful, idyllic year, into a life that was bohemian and romantic, living under an assumed name in a rambling group house in Cambridge. It was a time of limitless possibility, but it ended in a single instant when Jo returned home one night to find her best friend lying dead in a pool of blood on the living room floor.
Now Jo has everything she's ever wanted: a veterinary practice she loves, a devoted husband, three grown daughters, a beautiful Massachusetts farmhouse. And if occasionally she feels a stranger to herself and wonders what happened to the freedom she once felt, or how she came to be the wife, mother, and doctor her neighbors know and trust; if at times she feels as if her whole life is vanishing behind her as she's living it, she need only look at her daughters or her husband, Daniel, to recall the satisfactions of family and community and marriage.
But when an old housemate settles in her small town, the fabric of Jo's life begins to unravel: seduced again by the enticing possibility of another self and another life, she begins a dangerous flirtation that returns her to the darkest moment of her past and imperils all she loves.
While I Was Gone is an exquisitely suspenseful novel about how quickly and casually a marriage can be destroyed, how a good wife can find herself placing all she holds dear at risk. In expert strokes, Sue Miller captures the precariousness of even the strongest ties, the ease with which we abandon each other, and our need to be forgiven. An extraordinary book, her best, from a beloved American writer.
©1999 Sue Miller; ©1999 Random House, Inc.
The main character in this book has no redeeming characteristics. Nor do any of the rest of the well under developed characters. Not a fan.
I never got to the point where I cared about the main character. The surprise(?) outcome was completely predictable. I've come to expect more from Ms Miller.
Let's see...character development, an actual plot or purpose for the story.
The narrator was ok. I think she did the best she could with the material. She seemed like she was looking through a window at the characters though, instead of being a character. This is probably because of the poor character development to begin with.
I'd have redone everything.
The main character was ridiculous. I just didn't connect with her or even like her from the beginning. By the end of this long drawn out pile of garble, I was ready for her husband to just leave her and the book to end. I almost didn't finish it.
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