The Lake Shore Limited

The Lake Shore Limited

eBook - 2010
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Four unforgettable characters beckon you into this spellbinding new novel from Sue Miller, the author of 2008's heralded best seller The Senator's Wife. First among them is Wilhelmina-Billy-Gertz, small as a child, fiercely independent, powerfully committed to her work as a playwright. The story itself centers on The Lake Shore Limited--a play Billy has written about an imagined terrorist bombing of that train as it pulls into Union Station in Chciago, and about a man waiting to hear the fate of his estranged wife, who is traveling on it. Billy had waited in just such a way on 9/11 to hear whether her lover, Gus, was on one of the planes used in the attack. The novel moves from the snow-filled woods of Vermont to the rainy brick sidewalks of Boston as the lives of the other characters intersect and interweave with Billy's: Leslie, Gus's sister, still driven by grief years after her brother's death; Rafe, the actor who rises to greatness in a performance inspired by a night of incandescent lovemaking; and Sam, a man irresistibly drawn to Billy after he sees the play that so clearly displays the terrible conflicts and ambivalence of her situation. How Billy has come to create the play out of these emotions, how it is then created anew on the stage, how the performance itself touches and changes the other characters' lives--these form the thread that binds them all together and drives the novel compulsively forward. A powerful love story; a mesmerizing tale of entanglements, connections, and inconsolable losses; a marvelous reflection on the meaning of grace and the uses of sorrow, in life and in art: The Lake Shore Limited is Sue Miller at her dazzling best. -- From the Hardcover edition -- taken from the OverDrive website.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, c2010
ISBN: 9780307593559
Branch Call Number: 813/.54 22


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Apr 26, 2020

If you like romances that aren't straight forward romances, then you'll enjoy this. There were four main characters that the novel focussed on.

May 17, 2018

A good novel - July 2019: Read this book before so returned it.

coroboreefarm Oct 27, 2015

In spite of very lukewarm reviews by other readers, I enjoyed this book. Its appeal to me lay in the way that Susan Miller described the main protagonists using very penetrating and complex characterizations.

The play, about a terrorist act, that is staged at the beginning of the novel, is a well constructed device for the examination of art paralleling life. It connects the characters and separates them as they see themselves reflected in art.

Told from multiple perspectives, the narrative took me deep into an examination of each individual's life, but still successfully maintained a connection between the other characters –and to the play. To me, this was a mesmerizing conceit, keeping me immersed in each chapter while eagerly anticipating the next one.
Miller is a master at mixing descriptive passages, plot movement, and character insight in order to produce a gripping and suspenseful read.

Aug 26, 2011

Have you ever had someone tell you the plot of a movie? Usually kids do this and it's rather tedious, isn't it? I was really worried as I read through the first section of this book because much of it involves a character's recounting an entire play. It's only as you enter into the viewpoints of the three other characters in this novel that it becomes clear why we need to know about the play.

So that's my caveat: you will be treated to Sue Miller's extraordinary ability to tell a story from differing viewpoints, revealing truths while exposing individual blind-spots. But you'll have to sit through that play first. It will be worth it.

May 18, 2011

I really enjoyed this book. Sue Miller has a way of getting me involved in the lives of the characters. Regardless of whether or not I like them - they interest me.

Jan 13, 2011

book club read - didn't like it much!

Jan 12, 2011

Wow. I was really surprised by the other comments. I love Sue Miller and this was my favorite of all her books so far. I thought a lot happened. A character dies and the person left behind has to cope with the idea that she didn't love him as much as she could have/should have. Powerful and resonant, this book really spoke to me.

Sararush Jun 23, 2010

In Sue Miller's The Lake Shore Limited, not a lot happens. Instead we get character's that are so convincingly difficult that it becomes tough going for the reader to find anything redemptive about them. Basically a group of spoiled adults surrounding a play hurt each other. The roundabout and jerky narration, absent plot and humor, wisdom, doesn't help matters. Though Miller's use of language is at times striking, I still struggled to finish this one.

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