Customer Reviews for

While I Was Gone

Average Rating 3.5
( 89 )
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5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(40)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(11)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 40 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted January 4, 2015

    I was intrigued through the entire reading of While I Was Gone.

    I was intrigued through the entire reading of While I Was Gone. The characters are multi-faceted and flawed, but very real. I enjoyed reading the intimate details of Jo Becker's life. Having lived in Cambridge, I could personally relate to the lifestyle described. The story felt real to me.

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  • Posted December 16, 2011

    Great Writing Style

    While the book entertains, I find the premise difficult to believe-- a woman so caught up in the past that she puts everything she loves at risk. The author's writing style, though, make this book a good read.

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  • Posted February 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    More accurately--3.5 stars

    The plot synopsis provided is accurate. As with the one other Sue Miller novel I've read, this book focuses intently on character development. I enjoyed the probing questions into the main character's (Jo) life and her search for meaning, her questioning of self.

    If you are looking for page-turning action, you won't find it here. However, do not let that diminsh what Miller has produced. Miller includes details of mundane life in a familiar way, which, I believe was her intention. The questions and motives Jo has for doing what she does are things I find myself wondering about also.

    Miller has produced another well written, thought-provoking novel with a couple steamy romantic moments that would make my mother blush. I give it a solid 3.5 stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2006

    Dark and meaty

    This is a dark read. The life of the main character is one that I view as tolerable not happy, yet not unhappy. It seems as if she always is hunting for something more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2004

    Good...just plain good.

    I really liked the main character, Jo. She wasn't perfect, in fact quite flawed...and therefor real. I related to some of her thoughts (maybe not actions). She was a joy to spend this time with on this journey through the novel. Give it a chance, I think you'll like Sue Miller's writing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2004

    She had me hooked-

    Sue Miller's style is first-person, modern and anecdotal. Her tangents were very engaging and developed the characters and story line over several time periods. The plot was intriguing and I'd definitely read more of her books, given the opportunity.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2004

    We can learn something new every day ...

    I read a review from someone who thought 'women in their 50s/60s would probably like' this book. I am there, and I did like the book, but I didn't like the decisions that Jo was making. It was as if she were going through a second adolescence, and had learned nothing from living and raising her children. The several pages where her husband delivered a eulogy were incredibly powerful. I have actually given copies to friends of mine who lost someone dear, simply for that eulogy, to help them deal with the pain.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2003

    A woman's imperfections

    While I truly enjoyed this book, the one thing that prevented me from putting it down was the incredible distaste I felt for the selfish, self-absorbed Jo. I have never disliked a character so much, which is a testament to Sue Miller's incredible talent as a storyteller. I highly recommend this to all who, in some cases, are opposed to 'happily ever after'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2003

    I would like to finish it

    I strated to read this book, because I had to. But the thing is that I have only some paragraphs of it. So now I want to buy it, because the scenary seemed just perfect. I would like to now what it going to happen...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2002

    thrilling nonstop action

    this book was amazing. it had parts i never expected to read. i truly thought it was great. its about thuth and what a woman stands for. we all struggle every now and then between true love and a feeling thats unexplainable, and the main character, jo, was great. she was so realistic and brought all the truth of the book together.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2002

    Very Good

    I don't understand why some people are saying they didn't like Jo. I thought she was a wonderfully honest person. Maybe she did a crazy thing or two, but don't we all? I liked this book and I'm glad to have read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2001

    Not one of Oprah's typical picks

    Many of Oprah's books seem to have a tragic storyline and I was happy that this book didn't completely follow that pattern. The story is of the woman next door, Jo Becker, who once lived the free and communal life of a 60's young adult, with all the hippies and drugs that seem to come with that time. She is on a constant search for what will make her happy as she runs and then moves from her first husband, to the second husband, a family and then questions her life when a friend from the past reenters her life. This story tells of a woman in mid-life questioning her past and her future and eventually finding out that sometimes what you have is enough to be happy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2001

    Sue Miller bests 'The Good Mother'

    Although I found the beginning (up to pg.75) slow to go and a little wordy,I'm so glad I stuck with it. I couldn't put it down once Eli came to town and stayed up most of the night to finish it. The characters are so 'everyday' except for thier particular imperfections that make them unique unto themselves, yet you can't help identifying with all of their conflicting emotions. I hated for it to end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2001

    Good, Could've Been Better

    This was a good book, but it needed more events than it actually had. I wish that Eli & Jo would have slept together, then he tells her he killed Dana. Now THAT would've been good! I liked it, but needs more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2000

    Makes You Think

    Through a series of twists and turns and happenstance, the novel's protangonist finds herself in a life-changing dilemna. The author leaves us with questions that we can't help but ask ourselves long after you finish the book- what would you do in her situation? What would you do differently? The first person narrative is very effective in drawing us into the story and if it is alittle far-fetched, she makes it believable. It also makes you understand that for every action there is a consequence. I haven't read such a spell binding story in a long time!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2000

    A book for women at all ages

    I truly think that all women of all ages can relate to this book. Sue Miller places the reader in a position of seeing things from the narrators view point, and it is one that anyone can comfortably fit in. All of her relationships with friends from a former life, children, husband and her co-workers had an intense effect on the reader. It was a book I couldn't put down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2000

    Pretty Good

    Oprah did a fine job choosing this book. I enjoyed it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2000

    Difficult writing style

    The first person narration of this book was peculiarly crafted. At times the author seemed to be tryig for a stream on conciousness effect by using single words, not connected to standard grammar. Done well this works beautifully (see recomendations below) but in this case I just found it irritating. But despite my style quibbles I actually ended up liking this book for the story line. The protagonist's urge to destroy her perfect life was well told.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2000

    While I Was Gone: enjoyable to read

    While I Was Gone was some what difficult to get into, but once I got stared, I didn't want to put it down. Sue Miller did a wonderful job developing Jo, the main character, and clearly made Jo's past experiences distinguishable from her present life. Its no wonder this book was a success in Oprah's Book Club.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2000

    Interesting read

    Great plot twists..although hard to get into.

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