Saturday, March 17, 2007

5th TBR Review: Lost in the Forest by Sue Miller

I've never read any Sue Miller, although whenever I see her books, I always feel like I've already read them. How bizarre is that? Anyway, I put this one on my TBR list some time ago and have avoided reading it for unknown reasons.

It is basically a "coming of age" novel, mixed with a portrayal of how people deal with grief. The book starts out with Eva's second husband being killed in a car accident, and the rest of the book is about how Eva and her (first) ex-husband Mark deal with it, along with their two teenage daughters, and Eva's small son Theo. It is well written, pulls you in and along. I felt connected to the characters, and how they acted and the choices they made made sense to me.

Having said that, there's nothing extraordinary about the book. I liked it, I'd read it anew, I'm not sorry I read it. Nothing like that. It's just that there seems to be a group of women writers who write fairly similar material...Jodi Picoult, Alice Hoffman, Joyce Carol Oates, Sue Miller....I'm really not saying "if you've read one, you've read them all". I enjoy these books, I think they have good themes, great stories, sometimes I even learn something. They are just not extraordinary.

Maybe the problem is that I've read some extraordinary works lately (The Book Thief, Doomsday Book) and these books seem a little run-of-the-mill by comparison. I don't know. I guess I'm just trying to say that I'm not panning the book. It's good. And sometimes we do need a relaxing read - like in between Half of a Yellow Sun and Beasts of No Nation. Good timing for this one!

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