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While I Was Gone by Sue Miller
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While I Was Gone (original 1999; edition 1999)

by Sue Miller

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2,668412,229 (3.4)35
Member:bookmagic
Title:While I Was Gone
Authors:Sue Miller
Info:Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (1999), Paperback
Collections:Your library
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While I Was Gone by Sue Miller (1999)

  1. 01
    A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton (Severn)
    Severn: While I was Gone shares similar thematic elements, and a similar narrative, to A Map of the World, and comes highly recommended.
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» See also 35 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
Jo (veterinarian, former hippy) and Daniel (minister), marriage troubles from her renewing acquaintance with former roommate where a murder had occurred. Read Good Mother years ago and loved it too. ( )
  Judebird | Sep 18, 2014 |
[author: Sue Miller] is one of those authors whose books I happen upon accidentally after I've almost forgotten that her stories might appeal to me. This one was OK... at some point about 3/4 of the way through, I said to myself, "Either X is going to happen, or Y is going to happen," and then I wasn't all that surprised by the rest. I'd like to think this is more a symptom of my impatience as a reader and less because the author is a poor storyteller.
  Seven.Stories.Press | Jun 13, 2014 |
I really did like this book. It depicts a horrible event and the repercussion many years later. It seemed very plausible and real. The writing was excellent and I found myself highlighting passages, which isn't something I do too often. I wish I could give this 3.5 stars instead of just 3. My only gripe is that I felt the story was bogged down by so much information about the daughters. They were not central to the plot or even to the main characters. This is my first Sue Miller book and I can't wait to read other books by this author. ( )
  erica471 | Jan 5, 2014 |
This novel takes twists and turns, moving in the present and the past and bringing two periods of Jo's life together, when she meets an old friend. She feels stuck in a boring life and tries to reclaim the excitement of a period in her younger life when she was single and this doesn't quite work out. The writer deals with this well and in a 'real' way. The New England weather is very much a part of the novel, the sun, the snow; the dark times of the novel are in the dark winter days and the spring sun brings new hope. ( )
  Tifi | Nov 5, 2013 |
Boring.....i couldn't finish it... ( )
  KristySP | Apr 21, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
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It's odd, I suppose, that when I think back over all that happened in that terrible time, one of my sharpest memories should be of some few moments the day before everything began.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345443284, Paperback)

Oprah Book Club® Selection, May 2000: 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 Wheaton

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:39 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

A woman who has everything going for her gives in to adultery. The heroine is Jo Becker of Massachusetts, a well-off veterinarian with grown children and a husband she loves. One day she meets a man from her past and it happens. The novel analyzes why.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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