The World Below

The World Below From the author of While I Was Gone a stunning new novel that showcases Sue Miller s singular gift for exposing the nerves that lie hidden in marriages and families and the hopes and regrets that li

  • Title: The World Below
  • Author: Sue Miller
  • ISBN: 9780345440761
  • Page: 104
  • Format: Paperback
  • From the author of While I Was Gone, a stunning new novel that showcases Sue Miller s singular gift for exposing the nerves that lie hidden in marriages and families, and the hopes and regrets that lie buried in the hearts of women.Maine, 1919 Georgia Rice, who has cared for her father and two siblings since her mother s death, is diagnosed, at nineteen, with tuberculosisFrom the author of While I Was Gone, a stunning new novel that showcases Sue Miller s singular gift for exposing the nerves that lie hidden in marriages and families, and the hopes and regrets that lie buried in the hearts of women.Maine, 1919 Georgia Rice, who has cared for her father and two siblings since her mother s death, is diagnosed, at nineteen, with tuberculosis and sent away to a sanitarium Freed from the burdens of caretaking, she discovers a nearly lost world of youth and possibility, and meets the doomed young man who will become her lover.Vermont, the present On the heels of a divorce, Catherine Hubbard, Georgia s granddaughter, takes up residence in Georgia s old house Sorting through her own affairs, Cath stumbles upon the true story of Georgia s life and marriage, and of the misunderstanding upon which she built a lasting love.With the tales of these two women one a country doctor s wife with a haunting past, the other a twice divorced San Francisco schoolteacher casting about at midlife for answers to her future Miller offers us a novel of astonishing richness and emotional depth Linked by bitter disappointments, compromise, and powerful grace, the lives of Georgia and Cath begin to seem remarkably similar, despite their distinctly different times two young girls, generations apart, motherless at nearly the same age, thrust into early adulthood, struggling with confusing bonds of attachment and guilt both of them in marriages that are not what they seem, forced to make choices that call into question the very nature of intimacy, faithfulness, betrayal, and love Marvelously written, expertly told, The World Below captures the shadowy half truths of the visible world, and the beauty and sorrow submerged beneath the surfaces of our lives the lost world of the past, our lost hopes for the future A tour de force from one of our most beloved storytellers.From the Hardcover edition.

    One thought on “The World Below”

    1. GrandparentsSue Miller's 2001 novel begins with a chapter that is stunningly beautiful in its simplicity. An old lady drives with her husband in a horse and buggy to visit her recently-widowed son in law with the offer to take her young granddaughters off his hands, so they could grow up in a real home. The son-in-law politely refuses, the girls even laugh behind her back, but none of this matters because the chapter is so full of human truth that it shines in its own beauty.I thought it merely [...]

    2. This is about a grandmother and her grandchild. The parallels drawn between their two lives were, for me, too similar. The plot touches upon life in a TB sanatorium. This I found to be remarkably well done, particularly how it might have felt to be consigned there. Guilt and fear. The horror of seeing others die. The need to grab whatever you can of life before it is gone.The 1930s construction of the Quabbin Reservoir and the subsequent submerging of several towns in Massachusetts plays into th [...]

    3. Some would classify Miller's book as "Summer Reading", but since I do not follow that trend, I would state that although in some respects it could be considered light, I enjoyed the ebb and flow of her writing. It soon becomes clear that the author has tapped thoughtful, reflective depths. Simply stated, it is about woman, who following two failed marriages and other life changes, goes to live in her grandmother's home in rural Vermont. While trying to find new directions for her own existence, [...]

    4. I'm not sure what my final impressions of the book must be. The parallel between Cath and her grandmother Georgia did not work for me that well. I might have missed something.The grandmother's story could have been told on its own and it would have been a very strong, unusual and powerful story. It was watered down by both 1) trying to add Cath's (mundane) story to it and making her the main character instead of Georgia, and 2) using sexual innuendos to 'enhance' the story, which did not work at [...]

    5. Sue Miller's characters read; this makes them far more interesting, more complex than most American characters. In this novel, the central character reads letters of her great-grandmother who had been institutionalized at nineteen. This led to a lifetime, a marriage, of unsuspected depths and doubts. Such reading characters should also interest afficianados. In the World Below, the life of the TB asylum is exposed, in a sense. All that time, nothing to do: of course relationships developed, sex [...]

    6. I like Sue Miller. I have read a few of her books and rub my hands in excitement at the fact that I have unread offerings on my bookshelves. The story of this book revolves around two women, Georgia the grandmother and Catherine her granddaughter. Catherine is all grown up and becomes a grandmother herself by the end of the book. The book very easily and clearly moves between the stories of the women. Georgia’s grandmother is also a character, briefly, as is Catherine’s granddaughter. And ye [...]

    7. Comparing professional reviews of Sue Miller's books (from such eminent places as the New York Times, LA Times, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, etc.) to the reviews and ratings that she tends to get on makes me think that perhaps she is not getting the audience or kudos she deserves on this site. But I really enjoyed and admired Miller's weaving together of the two stories that dominate this book. Perhaps because my grandmother was also in a TB sanitarium after World War I, I was fascinated by the [...]

    8. I just finished this book. It was passed on to me, which is the only reason I read it. After reading it, I was mad at myself for wasting as much time as I did reading this book. It was poorly written and really had no point. It was about a women, who was trying to figure out her place in life, who goes back to her grandmother's house for a few months. It was boring, and just seemed to go on and on, leaving the reader to think that the ending must be REALLY good and a REALLY good surprise to make [...]

    9. About a schizophrenic wife: "He hoped, he always hoped this; it's the disease that affects those who love people who are ill - that this would be a turning point for her, that things might be different from now on. She would make friends, she would have a life in the world that compelled and occupied her." Boy, aint that the truth. There's also an interesting discussion about keeping a diary, why, and why one would not destroy it. Haven't read Miller in a long time and I remember now why she imp [...]

    10. I found myself not liking the main characters in this book very much and either didn't think the novel had much to say or didn't care for what it did say. The women in the story had a frustrating way of blaming others or circumstances for the choices they themselves made. And they seemed to make a lot of baffling turns and sudden changes of direction that made no sense in the context of the novel to me. I couldn't relate to them and I couldn't appreciate them, either. Sometimes a novel with unli [...]

    11. I really enjoyed the book this second time around. And as I read it, I found that they were certain things about the story that were familiar though it took a while to get to that point. There were only a couple of things about it that I wasn't crazy about but the rest of it makes up for it. I love the descriptions. Sue Miller has a talent for writing that I envy. It makes me feel that if I could write, this is how and what I would write about. We get to go on a little adventure of sorts. Solvin [...]

    12. In San Fransisco fifty-two year old Catherine is attempting to remake her life after the collapse of her second marriage. When her aunt dies, Catherine inherits her grandmother's house in New England. Could this offer the chance of a new beginning? Catherine quits her job and travels across the country to the old house where her mother's mental instability meant that she spent many years of her childhood sheltering in the apparent tranquillity of her grandparents' world.Here she begins a process [...]

    13. A good book about relationships through generations of time. I prefered the storyline of Georgia and her life rather than that of present day Cath. At times I felt the author was forcing the parallels betweeen the two characters. They both lost their mothers in their youth, they both were given a chance to live with their grandparents after the death of their mothers, they were both able to have their lives changed by being away from family for a time; Georgia in the sanitorium and Cath in Paris [...]

    14. booksandrumblings.wordpress/The World Below. I must say this is the first novel that made me stay awake ’til late night. I was thrilled how Cath unveiled her Gran’s story and eventually figured out how their lives are actually similar at some points: their lives being a daughter, having lost a mother and their marriages.The part I wanted the most was that which showed Georgia’s life inside a sanitarium. There maybe no more sanitariums today but the life inside it is actually the same I saw [...]

    15. I went to the library in search of Sue Miller's newest book; I didn't find it but came away with two others I didn't know she had written. I enjoy her books because for the most part I like the way she portrays her characters - they just seen real to me. Cath, the main character in this book, was no different. A twice divorced teacher in San Francisco, she decides to try living in her Grandmother's house in Vermont that she has inherited after her aunt dies. She lived for a number of years with [...]

    16. I liked this book for its probing consideration of how people deal with societal expectations of our personal lives. Miller weaves a narrative of one woman's self-reflective journey to her childhood home where she finds her grandmother's diaries and tries to piece together her mysterious past. The reader is treated to 3rd person scenes from the past that allow us to recognize a deeper reality in contrast to the understanding that the protagonist gains from reading the diary so many years later. [...]

    17. A little disappointed. I felt like I was reading a novel that my mother would read, not at all how I felt with Lost In The Forest - I thought was great.What was wrong with this book? Nothing particularly, while reading it I would've said it seemed predictable, but then the shock I had expected didn't actually happen (a child with her lover at the san) There were significant betrayals and forgiveness, but not much in the way of the details of how Georgia and husband get through this. There is bea [...]

    18. I read this book after reading Miller's "The Senator's Wife" and wanting to read more by her. I really found the imagery in this book fantastic! Miller does an excellent job of placing people in real life scenarios and then giving a provocative twist. The images of cities below a lake and the stories of her grandmother were very engaging, and I kept wanting to find out what would happen next. A great read!

    19. I'm so glad I started reading Sue Miller. I love what she does with the past and the present, and with points of view for past and present, that makes her so-familiar characters seem like they are inhabiting two different worlds at once. Yet her prose stays so clear, like the reservoir in this book, under which is submerged an old New England town. I also like it that her characters make middle aged women seem smart and interesting with hard-won (and sometimes accidentally begotten) wisdom.

    20. It's not that this book didn't have a good plot or interesting details. Yes, it might be thought of as predictable with the hidden family secrets and the woman in her 50's trying to define herself. It was a neat idea to have Catherine, the main character, narrate her life story and her grandmother's. What bothered me is that I simply didn't care about the characters enough. For me, I have to feel for the characters. This book was BORING to me.

    21. I am not all that certain what to think about this book. I read the book, and throughout I kept hoping that more of a plot would develop. At one point, I realized I was almost half way though the book and there was no discernible direction for the story. I thought the last 20 or so pages were truly rushed, and when I finished I was left thinking "what did I read, and why?"

    22. Sue Miller is always a great read-- good chick-lit stuff about the interwoven strands of a woman's life-- romance, family, sexuality, profession, personal history. Astute observations about motives, emotions and self growth. Believable details that pull you in to the story.

    23. The ending is a disappointment. Multi-generational stories work beautifully.or they stumble along from past to present and back again. The early 1900's in Vermont flowed so well with Georgia's storyline. Current San Francisco with granddaughter Catherine, meh.

    24. The thing that stuck with me about this novel was the image of those houses below that resevoir. It reminded me of the novel Evidence of Things Unseen.

    25. I really enjoyed her first few books but this one got a little tedious. Maybe I'm just tired of middle age angst books.

    26. I love Sue Miller. She can almost do no wrong in my book. So when I realized I'd missed this one when it came out, I jumped on it.Miller has such a perfect touch that it would take some analysis to sort through just how she weaves a story together. This one is about a woman who inherits her grandparents' house and goes East to both sort through things and decide whether she wants to start her life over again in Vermont, the place of her childhood roots. In the process, she muses on memories of h [...]

    27. I liked Sue Miller's "While I Was Gone", this one. not so much. It was a bit boring. I found that I was forcing myself to read it (Since not finishing a book is never an option with me) But, I was mad at myself for wasting the time it took to finish it. Very disappointed. I kept waiting for the interesting part of the plot to happen and it just didn't. It feel flat in my opinion. I usually don't have too hard of a time relating to characters and understanding them, these characters were hard to [...]

    28. A 2.5 for me. The writing is perfectly adequate, but the plot never fully captured my interest. The story is multi-generational, and although there aren't that many characters, more than once I had to flick back to the first chapter to try to understand who was the grandmother, which husband died, etc. Some of the characters had what sounded to be interesting backstories, but they were never fleshed out, whereas characters who were completely dull had a lot of page time. Didn't work for me!

    29. Good storyI found the story itself interesting and illuminating. What I didn't like was the way the author moved between characters and time periods. It took me at least a third of the way into the book to figure out all the characters and where they fit in. I did not even like the main character at first which made it even harder to get into the story. I did end up enjoying the story and liking the main character at the end. Not sure if I would read more by this author.

    30. I think Sue Miller is my new favorite author. Last month I read "The Senator's Wife" and I was impressed with her easy, thoughtful prose and her insightfullness into the emotional world of women. "The World Below" is a completely different type of novel. It tells a mutigenerational story, but here again the prose is full of thoughtful insights and it just rolls along so smoothly that you become unaware of your immediate surroundings. I can"t wait to delve into more of her work!

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