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The World Below (2001)
by Sue Miller
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345481062, Mass Market Paperback)There is nothing remarkable about the plot of Sue Miller's graceful novel, The World Below. Cath Hubbard, a San Francisco woman in her 50s, returns to her grandmother's small Vermont house after the death of an aunt who left the property to Cath and her brother Lawrence. Cath had lived with her grandparents for a few years in her teens, after her mother's suicide, and now makes her wounded way back, in the wake of a divorce, to sort through her memories of her beloved grandmother, Georgia. This is the standard fare of American literary fiction: a life change prompting a search into the past. What is far less ordinary is Miller's placid, nuanced depiction of her protagonist's emotional journey. None of Cath's feelings can be easily predicted by the reader, but all of them ring true. She finds her grandmother's diary and begins to fill in the stories that Georgia had hinted at over the years. What Cath discovers in her grandmother's journal is a secret that has lost its power to shock; and that very wearing away of taboo adds to the poignancy of Georgia's restricted life. Her story unfolds against a backdrop of Cath's more immediate griefs and concerns and begins to recede as Cath's San Francisco life returns to claim her. Miller's prose appears effortless, but is like the gestures of a magician that conceal how the trick is accomplished. The result is a sage, continually surprising novel about finding peace of mind in a combination of habit, love, and self-determination. --Regina Marler
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 14 Feb 2013 13:39:12 -0500)
Catherine Hubbard, a twice-divorced teacher from San Francisco, discovers the true story of her grandmother's life and marriage hidden in an old Vermont house.
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