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While I Was Gone: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 12. Mai 2000

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Taschenbuch, 12. Mai 2000
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  • Taschenbuch: 304 Seiten
  • Verlag: Ballantine Books; Auflage: Ballantine Book. (12. Mai 2000)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0345443284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345443281
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,1 x 1,5 x 20,3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.6 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (165 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.850.550 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Oprah Book Club® Selection, May 2000: In her still startling debut, The Good Mother, Sue Miller explored the premium we put on passion--and the terrible burden it places on a mother and child. Her fourth novel, While I Was Gone, is another study in familial crime and punishment. But this time, her wife and good mother is accessory to more than emotional malfeasance. Jo Becker has everything a woman could desire: a loving spouse, contented children, and a nice dog or two. When her New England veterinary practice takes on a new client, however, her past comes back to haunt her. Long ago, it seems, Jo had escaped her family and identity for a commune in Cambridge. Her Aquarian illusions came to an abrupt, bloody end when one of her housemates was brutally murdered.

Now this unhappy era returns in the person of Eli Mayhew, who had been the odd man out in Jo's boho household. His appearance is both tantalizing and upsetting: "Inside, I slowed down. I felt numbed. I had two last patients, and then I told Beattie to go home, that I'd close up.... I refiled the last charts, sprayed and wiped the examining table. I reviewed my list of routine surgeries for Wednesday. All the while I was thinking of Eli Mayhew, and of Dana and Larry and Duncan and me, and our lives in the house. Of the horrible way it had all ended." Sue Miller's fine novel is a penetrating--and sensuous--portrait of a woman besieged by her conscience. While I Was Gone also demonstrates that in the face of distance and betrayal, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing indeed. --Winnie Wheaton -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe .


"Riveting . . . The narrative pacing is masterly, building tension even in the most psychologically subtle passages. . . . While I Was Gone celebrate[s] what is impulsive in human nature."
   The New York Times


"FASCINATING . . . A NEW NOVEL OF GREAT INTEGRITY AND POWER . . . Despite having a loving husband, three vivacious daughters, a beautiful home in rural Massachusetts, and satisfaction in her work, Jo Becker's mind is invaded by a persistent restlessness. Then, an old roommate reappears to bring back Jo's memories of her early 20s. . . . Her obsession with that period of her life and with the crime that concluded it eventually estrange Jo from everything she holds dear, causing her to tell lie after lie as she is pulled closer to this man from her past--and to a horrible secret."
--Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

--Seattle Times/Post Intelligencer

"A BEAUTIFUL AND FRIGHTENING BOOK . . . MANY READERS WILL FIND IT DIFFICULT TO FORGET. . . . It swoops gracefully between the past and the present, between a woman's complex feelings about her husband and her equally complex fantasies--and fears--about another man. . . . I can think of few contemporary novelists--John Updike and Frederick Buechner are two others--who write so well about the trials of faith."
--The New York Times Book Review

"QUIETLY GRIPPING . . . Jo shines steadily as the flawed and thoroughly modern heroine. As in her 1986 novel, The Good Mother, Miller shows how impulses can fracture the family."
--USA Today

In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
IT'S ODD, I SUPPOSE, THAT WHEN I THINK BACK OVER ALL that happened in that terrible time, one of my sharpest memories should be of some few moments the day before everything began. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen

Von atmj am 31. Juli 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
This book is a tale of a woman in midlife. You hear the thoughts in her head and are amazed they are not dissimilar to your own. She has moments that freeze in time, where she recalls past events, suddenly and very vividly. Events that though are not forgotten, but have gotten rusty due to lack of use.
With this reminiscing she recalls her former self and tries to understand the people and events in her past. Some were very disturbing. Most are guilded with the innocence of youth.
The author sets the stage with the main character Jo, having an "epiphany" of sorts, a freeze frame that another turning point in her life is being reached. She builds for the reader the story of Jo's life with the day to day details. When you are reading this book, you are Jo, if only for a moment.
In this contented recently empty nest life, Jo and her husband a minister she does not share a faith with, go about their normal lives with no sense of "what's next". Only recently has the last of their 3 daughters moved out and they are reinventing their schedule and getting to know one another as a couple again.
Due to a connection provided by her daughter Sadie, Jo runs into a former friend of her counter-culture life in her early 20s. Back when they shared a communal house one of their housemates was murdered. The author builds through Jo's recollecting how she remembers that life and it's initial innocence. It also shows Jo's confused sense of self at that time.
Jo's relationship to her past is soon caught up in her association with this man. This sets up events that nearly destroy her marriage. This relationship provides her an opportunity to explore and revisit the person she once was. She examines her motivation and questions it as well.
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Format: Taschenbuch
"While I Was Gone" is told by a middle-aged woman named Jo Becker, a veterinarian, happily married wife, and mother of three daughters who lives outside of Boston. The wife of an old housemate (Eli) brings their dog to her office, and this triggers Jo's memories of her time after college when she was running from her first marriage. She had assumed a new identity and lived in a group house in Boston, where she became close with her housemates, one of whom she finds murdered in their living room when she gets home from cocktail waitressing one day. The book flashes back to tell the story of her time in the group house and then returns to her married life, where she meets Eli again and find herself attracted to him. In all the lives Jo has lived (first marriage, recovering in the group home, second marriage, and even childhood), she keeps secrets from those she loves, sometimes without realizing it. The book is essentially about how those secrets affect her and her life.
Within the first ten pages of this book, I thought "Oo, I'm going to enjoy this book," and oh how I did. Miller writes of the emotional and psychological lives of her characters more realistically than any author I know. I savored the many details that conveyed who Jo was, how she reacted to others, and why she behaved as she did. Despite getting to know Jo as a stable, mature woman, I completely understood her earlier experience of wanting to take big risks and reinvent herself when she realizes she has been making choices to please others, at the cost of not knowing herself. We learn about Jo's relationship with her children, now young adults, and she captures the tension Jo feels in trying to be a loving mother while also conveying her respect for their independence.
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Format: Taschenbuch
I chose this book because it was the Oprah selection for May 2000. I had "stumbled" upon it numerous times before it was selected while I was searching for selections for my Reading group. I almost selected it for the group BUT something kept telling me don't. I was not sure why at the time...because it does seem like she has a tremendous following...I was happy when Oprah picked the book because I knew then at least I would be reading one of her selections. Although so many of the reviews were positive ones on this book...I have to be honest and tell you I really did not enjoy it....I struggled getting through it, and am really at a loss to say why. It just seems the book did not motivate me or call out to me saying "READ ME". I guess it came down to the fact that I really didn't care about the central characters....I guess Jo and me are world's apart and I never felt "connected" to her at any one point in her life. This made it really difficult for me to empathize with her. Daniel was my favorite character...although a little too perfect. The "reuinion" with Eli was a realistic storyline...but I think was transitioned poorly into her booking a room at the Ritz with thoughts of a one night affair. The occurences after that night, (and I will not list them here for people who have not read it) really did not evolve into the storyline it should have)
I never really "got" the descriptions and relationships with her children...The visual I had in my mind was very choppy and of miserably spoiled and disconnected from the family type of kids....strange considering the type of family they came from.
I gave this book 3 stars because of a few pages relating to grief and how it encompasses ones life....
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