Lost in the Forest

Lost in the Forest

by Sue Miller
3.5 18


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Lost in the Forest by Sue Miller

For nearly two decades, since the publication of her iconic first novel, The Good Mother, Sue Miller has distinguished herself as one of our most elegant and widely celebrated chroniclers of family life, with a singular gift for laying bare the interior lives of her characters. In each of her novels, Miller has written with exquisite precision about the experience of grace in daily life–the sudden, epiphanic recognition of the extraordinary amid the ordinary–as well as the sharp and unexpected motions of the human heart away from it, toward an unruly netherworld of upheaval and desire. But never before have Miller’s powers been keener or more transfixing than they are in Lost in the Forest, a novel set in the vineyards of Northern California that tells the story of a young girl who, in the wake of a tragic accident, seeks solace in a damaging love affair with a much older man.

Eva, a divorced and happily remarried mother of three, runs a small bookstore in a town north of San Francisco. When her second husband, John, is killed in a car accident, her family’s fragile peace is once again overtaken by loss. Emily, the eldest, must grapple with newfound independence and responsibility. Theo, the youngest, can only begin to fathom his father’s death. But for Daisy, the middle child, John’s absence opens up a world of bewilderment, exposing her at the onset of adolescence to the chaos and instability that hover just beyond the safety of parental love. In her sorrow, Daisy embarks on a harrowing sexual odyssey, a journey that will cast her even farther out onto the harsh promontory of adulthood and lost hope.

With astonishing sensuality and immediacy, Lost in the Forest moves through the most intimate realms of domestic life, from grief and sex to adolescence and marriage. It is a stunning, kaleidoscopic evocation of a family in crisis, written with delicacy and masterful care. For her lifelong fans and those just discovering Sue Miller for the first time, here is a rich and gorgeously layered tale of a family breaking apart and coming back together again: Sue Miller at her inimitable best.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345469595
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/25/2006
Series: Ballantine Reader's Circle Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 578,403
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.94(h) x 0.62(d)

About the Author

Sue Miller is the best-selling author of the novels The World Below, While I Was Gone, The Distinguished Guest, For Love, Family Pictures, and The Good Mother; the story collection Inventing the Abbotts; and the memoir The Story of My Father. She lives in Boston.


Boston, Massachusetts

Date of Birth:

November 29, 1943

Place of Birth:

Chicago, Illinois


B.A., Radcliffe College, 1964; M.A.T., Wesleyan U., 1965; Ed.M., Harvard U., 1975; M.A. Boston U., 1980

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Lost in the Forest 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
DoranneLongPTMS More than 1 year ago
I am enjoying reading Sue Miller's books. They feel real, with a touch of heart-ache and tragedy; so a bit uncomfortable, but that's real life. Beautifully written story, with just enough hope and redemption to keep me turning the pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slept in her den.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Seems like it took forever to get to the climax of the story. It was okay,not one of my favorites.
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Maximillian More than 1 year ago
I am deeply disappointed that the 50 + year-old man (friend of the family-very typical) gets away with seducing a teenage girl who is very "lost" at this point in her life. The author's style of writing is easy to follow and does make the reader contemplate some life issues and some American cultural issues. I have read other books by this writer and I do think she is very good at describing contemporary society, but I also like accountability. This story left me with a bad/sad feeling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was easy to read, although the author's writing style was sometimes difficult to follow. There were a lot of broken sentences. The characters were developed well, but no one was ever happy. The characters experienced: tragic death, divorce, child abuse, complete sadness and therapy sessions. It was not a book to make you feel good.
ThePassionPlay More than 1 year ago
Daisy and I are complete opposites. Complete opposite lives, complete opposite personalities. I'm not extremely quiet, withdrawn; I have never cut piano lessons much less taken them; I never lied to my mother or went on a sexual journey with a man three times my age. Why, then, do I feel this vibe of similarity? It's the absent father. But, having an absent father has never fazed me like it did Daisy. It did more than faze her, actually. However, as I conclude, I daresay that I envy Daisy; I envy Daisy's father for my father; I envy that in the end, she got to know him, and he got to know her. Mark realized that Daisy needed him and he needed her. (Something my father failed to recognize). They both were wounded in some deep way, and they needed one another in order to heal. Even if there was still a scar left behind. Sue Miller's Lost in the Forest shows the importance of BOTH parents in the lives of their children. And, though this was not my type of book, I still give her props for it; it was well written and realistic. I liked it.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Iwas very disappointed in the book. A Middle aged man having an affair w// a minor. He should have been sentenced to prison.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read Sue Miller years ago (While I Was Gone and The Good Mother). I must have liked her style to read multiple books, but after reading this one, I doubt I will read others. Other reviewers have gone into plot details. (I'll just note that the character who was seduced was 15, not 14, as if that makes a difference.) I thought that Miller's descriptions were 'gratuitous' if you will.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I felt the book was an easy read, as others have said, but I was disappointed by many things one of which is where is the anger when it's found out that the 14 year old is having an affair with her mother's friend who is 50 -- anyway, not easy for me to recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you have read some of Sue Miller's earlier works, such as the Good Mother and While I Was Gone, you may find this book a disappointment. If you are a fan of Sue Miller, you will probably want to read it anyway. It is an easy read, and Sue Miller mesmerizes with her reflective, dreamy writing style. The plot sets in motion, after the main character's second husband is killed by a car. Most of story is the build up for what is about to happen to Daisy, the main characters 14 year old daughter. Grieving for her stepfather, she gets sucked into a sexual affair with a 50 some year old man. This is the climax of the story, and everything quickly winds down after a few titillating pages of her sexual coming of age. I was halfway through the book, lost in Sue Miller's dreamy writing style, before I realized, there would be no closure about what happened to the stepfather who was killed? We don't know, if he was killed by a hit and run driver? There is no discussion of a court case, regarding who might have hit him, and there is no mention of any police involvement. All this is glossed over. I felt that overall the story was rather weak and predictable. Eva the main character witnessed the violent death of her husband as did their three year old son. There is very little reference to the trauma that someone would experience as a result of witnessing such a terrible death of a loved one. I was also disappointed that there weren't any vibriant discriptions of the Northern California area, where the book is to take place. She writes a lot about it raining a lot there, which doesn't sound right. While she manages to wrap everything up at the end, the last chapter is very far removed from the story. You meet the characters many years later, and it is hard to related to it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This mesh of characters and various lifestyles is interesting and well done. Each point of view is a bit limited, but you can taste of feelings of each person involved, not too much just the right amount of exposure to experiences all of us have had and have viewed in others. Excellent read for someone wanting to be taken away from their life and surroundings.