Monogamy A novel

Sue Miller, 1943-

Large print - 2020

Derailed by the sudden passing of her husband of thirty years, an artist on the brink of a gallery opening struggles to pick up the pieces of her life before discovering harrowing evidence of her husband's affair.

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1st Floor LARGE PRINT/FICTION/Miller, Sue Checked In
Domestic fiction
New York, NY : Harper Large Print, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2020]
Large print edition. First Harper Large Print edition
Physical Description
viii, 482 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
Main Author
Sue Miller, 1943- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Both coming off failed first marriages, Annie and Graham were the loves of each other's lives. Graham was large and lusty, a hail-fellow-well-met whose Cambridge bookstore was a welcoming destination for the literary set. A professional photographer beginning to establish a reputation in the art world, Annie was diminutive and reserved, but only in comparison; her appetite for intimacy was as great as her husband's. So it was noteworthy when, after 30 years of marriage, Graham became preoccupied and remote. Before they could resolve whatever was coming between them, however, Graham died, leaving Annie with more questions than answers. Gingerly navigating her new role as widow, Annie relies on her unexpectedly close relationship with Graham's first wife, Frieda; their son, Lucas; and, to a lesser extent, Sarah, Graham and Annie's own daughter, for emotional support, which becomes critical when Annie learns that Graham was having an affair in the weeks before his death. Miller takes on and renews familiar themes of trust and betrayal between husbands and wives, parents and children, and does so with her signature crystalline focus and boundless empathy. The grieving process is hard enough to endure without having to question everything one ever knew about the deceased, an emotional minefield Miller traverses with grace and authenticity that are both haunting and vital.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Best-selling Miller's well-promoted latest will on many to-be-read lists. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Won in a pitched-battle auction, this latest from the New York Times best-selling Miller features introspective photographer Annie, long married to gregarious bookseller Graham and nervously on the verge of her first gallery show in six years. She's shocked when he dies suddenly and even more shocked to discover he was briefly unfaithful to her before his death. With an eight-city tour and a 200,000-copy first printing. Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In the late 1970s, Graham's first marriage had long ago imploded when his then-wife Frieda decided the open-marriage concept was not for her. Still, they have remained friends, for their own sake, as much as for their child, Lucas. Meanwhile, after Annie's own seven-year marriage ended, she embarked on a long, eventually unsatisfying run of endless casual encounters while pursuing a career in photography. When Annie and Graham meet at the opening of Graham's Cambridge bookstore, the connection is immediate and intense. Tired of their nonmonogamous ways, they marry within the year. Fast-forward to 2008. Their marriage, which was blessed with daughter Sarah, who now lives in California, has been a happy one, filled with joyful intimacy. Then in a careless moment of weakness, Graham embarks on a brief affair that he immediately regrets. Extricating himself isn't going well, as the woman has fallen in love and imagines a future together. Suddenly, before he can make things right, Graham dies. Annie, paralyzed by grief and disbelief at this unexpected loss, is nearly crushed when she accidentally learns of the affair while still in mourning. VERDICT Best-selling novelist Miller (While I Was Gone) unflinchingly examines the scorching pain of love, betrayal, raw grief, and the slow slog to forgiveness and healing. An eyes-wide-open look at the cost of commitment in all its messy permutations. [See Prepub Alert, 3/11/20.]—Beth Andersen, formerly with Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Miller (The Arsonist) delivers a robust, character-driven examination of the inner workings of a lengthy marriage. Domestic tranquility quickly totters into roiling turmoil as photographer Annie McFarlane struggles with grief after the sudden death of Graham, her bookstore-owning husband of almost 30 years. When Annie met Graham on the opening night of his shop in Harvard Square, each was coming off a disastrous first marriage. Annie never really loved Alan, a handsome preppy filled with contempt for others, including her, and she left him. Graham's first marriage was an open one ("It had been that era"), but his prodigious affairs were too much for Frieda, who left him with their young son. Frieda and Graham remained friends after their divorce, "leading to the lasting complexity of their entwined lives." Annie feels "doubly betrayed" when she learns that Graham had confided in Frieda about a recent affair. The novel takes on various configurations, swelling with recovered memories of childhood experiences and crackling with revelations of seductive temptations at an artist's colony. Annie swirls through bitterness and missed opportunities on her way to an acceptance of a "new sorrow," while Graham's Rabelaisian, larger-than-life personality is felt even in his absence. The novel is grounded by vibrant prose, vividly portrayed secondary characters, and the resiliency of everlasting love. Miller's fans will devour this spectacular, powerful return. Agent: Suzanne Gluck, WME. (Sept.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Derailed by the sudden passing of her husband of 30 years, an artist on the brink of a gallery opening struggles to pick up the pieces of her life before discovering harrowing evidence of her husband’s affair. (general fiction). Simultaneous.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Derailed by the sudden passing of her husband of thirty years, an artist on the brink of a gallery opening struggles to pick up the pieces of her life before discovering harrowing evidence of her husband's affair.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A New York Times Notable Book • NPR Best Book of the Year • People magazine Top Ten Books of the Year • BookPage Best Book of the Year • Good Housekeeping Best Book of the Year“A sensual and perceptive novel. . . . With humor and humanity, Miller resists the simple scorned-wife story and instead crafts a revelatory tale of the complexities—and the absurdities—of love, infidelity, and grief.” —O, the Oprah MagazineA brilliantly insightful novel, engrossing and haunting, about marriage, love, family, happiness and sorrow, from New York Times bestselling author Sue Miller.Graham and Annie have been married for nearly thirty years. Their seemingly effortless devotion has long been the envy of their circle of friends and acquaintances. By all appearances, they are a golden couple.Graham is a bookseller, a big, gregarious man with large appetites—curious, eager to please, a lover of life, and the convivial host of frequent, lively parties at his and Annie’s comfortable house in Cambridge. Annie, more reserved and introspective, is a photographer. She is about to have her first gallery show after a six-year lull and is worried that the best years of her career may be behind her. They have two adult children; Lucas, Graham’s son with his first wife, Frieda, works in New York. Annie and Graham’s daughter, Sarah, lives in San Francisco. Though Frieda is an integral part of this far-flung, loving family, Annie feels confident in the knowledge that she is Graham’s last and greatest love.When Graham suddenly dies—this man whose enormous presence has seemed to dominate their lives together—Annie is lost. What is the point of going on, she wonders, without him? Then, while she is still mourning Graham intensely, she discovers a ruinous secret, one that will spiral her into darkness and force her to question whether she ever truly knew the man who loved her.