Monogamy by Sue Miller #BookReview #Bloomsbury #NetGalley #4.5*

Annie is not the first love of Graham’s life but she is, he thinks, his last and greatest. Very recently, he has faltered; but he means to put it right.

Here they are in marriage, in late middle age, in comfort. Mismatched, and yet so well matched: the bookseller with his appetite, his conviviality, his bigness; the photographer with her delicacy, her astuteness, her reserve. The children are offstage, grown up and scattered on either coast; Graham’s first wife, Frieda, is peaceably in their lives, but not between them.

Then the unthinkable happens. Now Annie stumbles in the dark: did she know all there was to know about the man who loved her?

If no marriage is without its small indiscretions, how great does a betrayal have to be to be to break it?

A novel about marriage, family, secrets and love, Monogamy confirms Sue Miller’s place among the greatest writers at work in America today.

Beautifully Crafted!

I really enjoyed another of this author’s novels, A Senator’s Wife, and was very happy to get the chance to read and review this one.

Annie and Graham are a mis-match on paper and yet their marriage works. Each following their own career path, together they make a formidable pair but they each have their secrets. When the unthinkable happens, Annie finds herself completely wrong-footed and struggles to cope, but what other option does she have?

I like to think of Sue Miller’s works as ‘ponderous novels’. Whilst they’re not edge-of-your-seat thrillers or laugh-out-loud romantic comedies, there is something very special about being immersed in other people’s lives: their thoughts, their dreams, theirs hopes and disappointments. It’s so very easy to put yourself in their shoes, and I felt a real affinity with Annie. What would I do in her shoes? I’m really not sure, but I have been completely captivated by how she handles life’s issues. A lovely, gentle and realistic read, beautifully crafted and wonderfully enjoyable. If you haven’t read this author yet, I would definitely recommend her novels. I’m very happy to give this one 4.5*.

My thanks to the publisher for my copy via NetGalley; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.

Tags: women’s literary fiction

Author Bio

Both critically acclaimed and loved by readers, Sue Miller is recognised internationally for her elegant and sharply realistic accounts of the contemporary family. Her books have been widely translated and published in 22 countries around the world.

The Good Mother (1986), the first of her ten novels, was an immediate bestseller (more than six months at the top of the New York Times charts). Subsequent novels include three Book-of-the-Month main selections: Family Pictures (nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award), While I Was Gone (an Oprah’s Book Club selection), and The Senator’s Wife. Her latest novel is The Arsonist. Her non-fiction book The Story of My Father, was heralded by BookPage as a “beautiful, spare memoir about her relationship with her father furing his illness and death from Alzheimer’s disease”.

Her numerous honours include a Guggenheim, and a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship. She is a committed advocate for the writer’s engagement with society at large, having held a position on the Board of PEN-American Center. For four years she was Chair of PEN New England, an active branch that worked with writing programs in local high schools and ran classes in prisons. She has taught fiction at, among others, Amherst, Tufts, Boston University, Smith, and MIT.

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