Having read ‘The Senator’s Wife’ a few years ago, I saw this Sue Miller novel and decided to give it a go.
Featuring four main characters, this story is told through their eyes during the run of a play, written by Billy, a 9/11 widow. The difference about Billy, though, is she was preparing to end her relationship with Gus, her younger lover, when he got on a plane on September 11th, 2001. She has never told his older sister, Leslie, this though and she is still in touch with Leslie which is why Leslie and her husband Pierce come to see Billy’s latest play which stars Rafe, a man struggling with his wife’s debilitating illness, in the lead role. Leslie decides to bring a friend with them in order to set him up with Billy.
Miller’s language is so erudite that, even if you didn’t appreciate the story, you couldn’t help but be impressed by the writing. As it is, the story is well-written and brutally honest. This book is about letting go, forgiveness and moving on. Miller writes human life without the need to sugar coat it. It’s not the most joyous book to read but it is reassuring and, ultimately, optimistic.